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Vanessa McDermott

Research Fellow, School of Sociology, Australian National University

Vanessa primarily researches regulatory approaches to controlling deviant behaviour and whether these are perceived as legitimate by community and stakeholder groups. She is also interested in risk perception and the way that ideas around risk and responsibility inform regulatory responses.

Vanessa also researches regulatory responses to performance-enhancing drug use in elite sport. She is currently involved in a project funded by the World Anti-Doping Agency to explore perceptions of the legitimacy of anti-doping work held by stakeholders in the Pacific region. That project aims to identify whether there are any differences in perceptions of legitimacy of anti-doping regulation based on the role a person plays in sport and/or their cultural circumstances.

Her book The War on Drugs in Sport: Moral Panics and Organizational Legitimacy will be published by Routledge in 2015.


  • 2015–present
    Research Fellow, Centre for Construction Work Health and Safety Research School of Property, Construction & Project Management, RMIT University