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The Australian National University

Dr Nick Cheesman

PhD (ANU), MEd (Hons) (UWA), BCom, GDipEd (Melbourne)
Fellow, Department of Political & Social Change, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs (Room 4.11, Hedley Bull Building)
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
T: +61 2 6125 0181

Areas of expertise

  • Government And Politics Of Asia And The Pacific 160606
  • Law And Society 180119
  • Political Theory And Political Philosophy 160609

Research interests

Rule of law; sovereignty; the state; authority; power; political order; torture; impunity; human rights; postcolonialism in South and Southeast Asia; Myanmar (Burma); Thailand; interpretive social science 


Currently I hold an Australian Research Council grant to study torture in mainland Southeast Asia. The study follows my doctoral dissertation on the politics of law and order in Myanmar, published as Opposing the Rule of Law: How Myanmar's Courts Make Law and Order (Cambridge UP). Before coming to the ANU, I worked in Hong Kong with a regional human rights group. Earlier I convened a people’s tribunal on food scarcity and militarization in Myanmar. And I lived and worked in a refugee camp in Thailand.

I welcome inquiries from current or potential research students. I also welcome recommendations for books to feature on the Southeast Asian Studies channel of the New Books Network, which I host. 

Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 2016-17; Visiting Scholar, American Bar Foundation, 2017; Awarded: Distinguished Book Award, Asian Law & Society Association, 2017; Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, 2015; President’s Prize, ASAA, 2013; JG Crawford Prize (ANU) 2013; Commendation for Contribution to Student Learning, ANU, 2012; ANU College of Asia & the Pacific “Wattle Oscar”, 2012; VC’s Scholarship, ANU, 2008; FG Bradshaw Prize (UWA), 2003; Fellow: Higher Education Academy (UK); Editorial board member: Law and Social InquiryHague Journal on the Rule of Law


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Updated:  19 March 2018 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers