With a background in sociology, Associate Professor Vaughan Higgins' research focuses broadly on the governance of the Australian agri-food sector. He is particularly interested in how agricultural policy and programmes are implemented on the ground, and the ways in which landholders respond to attempts to change their practices. His current work is aimed at gaining an improved understanding of the implications of market and voluntary incentives for the adoption of more sustainable farming practices. Vaughan is also leading the development of a project which seeks to examine how Australian governments, commodity sectors and farmers are responding to biosecurity threats in the context of a changing climate. His research interests include governance of the agriculture and food sectors, market-based instruments and sustainable farming; agri-food standards; biosecurity and sociology of science and technology.
Bachelor of Arts, Central Queensland University, 1996
Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Central Queensland University, 1997
Doctor of Philosophy, Central Queensland University, 2001
Memberships of Advisory Boards and Panels
International Rural Sociological Association (Australasian and Pacific representative)
International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food (Co-editor); Rural Society (Editorial Board member)
Peer Reviewed Journals
Hernández-Jover, M., Higgins, V., Bryant, M., Rast, L. & McShane, C. (2016) Farm biosecurity practices and the management of emergency animal disease among commercial beef producers in Australia, Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 134: 92-102.
Richards, C. & Higgins, V. (2016) Trade liberalisation and Australian biosecurity: opportunities and challenges under the 'Shared Responsibility' approach, Farm Policy Journal, 13(3): 1-9.
Higgins, V., Bryant, M., Hernández-Jover, M., McShane, C. & Rast, L. (2016) Harmonising devolved responsibility for biosecurity governance: the challenge of competing institutional logics, Environment and Planning A, 48(6): 133-1151.
Higgins, V., Dibden, J. and Cocklin, C. (2015) Private agri-food governance and greenhouse gas abatement: Constructing a corporate carbon economy, Geoforum, 66: 75-84
Higgins, V., Dibden, J., Potter, C., Moon, K. and Cocklin, C. (2014) Payments for ecosystem services, neoliberalisation, and the hybrid governance of land management in Australia, Journal of Rural Studies, 36: 463-474.
Higgins, V., Potter, C., Dibden, J. and Cocklin, C. (2014) Neoliberalising rural environments, Journal of Rural Studies, 36: 386-390.
Higgins, V. (2014) Australia's developmental trajectory: Neoliberal or not? Dialogues in Human Geography, 4(2): 161-164.
Ransom, E., Bain, C. and Higgins, V. (2013) "Private Agri-Food Standards: Supply Chains and the Governance of Standards, International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food, 20(2): 147-154.
Bain, C., Ransom, E. and Higgins, V. (2013) "Private Agri-Food Standards: Contestation, Hybridity and the Politics of Standards, International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food, 20(1): 1-10.
Higgins, V., Dibden, J. and Cocklin, C. (2012) "Market Instruments and the Neoliberalisation of Land Management in Rural Australia", Geoforum, 43: 377-386.
Maye, D., Dibden, J., Higgins, V. and Potter, C. (2012) "Governing Biosecurity in a Neoliberal World: Comparative Perspectives from Australia and the United Kingdom", Environment and Planning A, 44: 150-168.
Dibden, J., Higgins, V. and Cocklin, C. (2011) "Harmonising the Governance of Farming Risks: The Regulation and Contestation of Agricultural Biosecurity and Biotechnology in Australia", Australian Geographer, 42(2): 105-122.
Higgins, V.. and Dibden, J. (2011) "Biosecurity, Trade Liberalisation and the (Anti)Politics of Risk Analysis: The Australia-New Zealand Apples Dispute", Environment and Planning A, 43: 393-409.
Farmar-Bowers, Q., Higgins, V. and Millar, J. (2012) "Introduction: The Food Security Problem in Australia", in Q. Farmar-Bowers, V. Higgins and J. Millar (eds), Food Security in Australia: Challenges and Prospects for the Future, New York: Springer: 3-17.
Farmar-Bowers, Q., Higgins, V. and Millar, J. (2012) "Final Word: Australia's Food Security Challenges", in Q. Farmar-Bowers, V. Higgins and J. Millar (eds), Food Security in Australia: Challenges and Prospects for the Future, New York: Springer: 443-448.
Farmar-Bowers, Q., Higgins, V. and Millar, J. (eds) (2012) Food Security in Australia: Challenges and Prospects for the Future, New York: Springer.
Social factors influencing technology adoption in the rice industry, Higgins, V. & Bryant, M. (2014- 2016) In partnership with Swinburne University, RIRDC, $129,000 Project details
Sustainable Farming in Australia: Market Instruments for Improved Land Management, Chief investigator with Professor Chris Cocklin (James Cook University) and Dr Clive Potter (Imperial College London). Higgins, V. (2010-2013). ARC Discovery Project. Project details
Associate Professor Vaughan Higgins is also involved in a number of Graham Centre Projects.
Improving Adoption of Management Strategies for Summer Perennial Weeds through Effective Engagement Processes, Co-investigator with Dr Hanwen Wu, Phil Bowden, Prof Leslie Weston and Dr Karl Behrendt (Graham Centre), (2013-2016). Meat and Livestock Australia.
Farm Biosecurity Practices and the Management of Emergency Animal Disease, Hernandez-Jover, M., Higgins & Bryant, M. (20013-2014) Cross-centre project with the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Project details
Engaging Landholders to Adopt Profitable and Sustainable Carbon Cropping Practices. Action on the Ground Project. Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Higgins, V. and other Graham Centre members (2012-15). Project details