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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 research design


Currently I hold an Australian Research Council grant to document where, when and how torture occurs in Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand. In 2016-17 I am working on this project at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

The study follows my doctoral dissertation on the politics of law and order in Myanmar, which was awarded the ANU's Crawford Prize, and the President’s Prize of the Asian Studies Association of Australia, 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. 

Awarded: ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, 2015; President’s Prize, ASAA, 2013; J G 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; F G Bradshaw Prize, University of Western Australia, 2003; Fellow: Higher Education Academy (UK); Editorial board member: Law and Social Inquiry, Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, Article 2



Projects and Grants

Grants are drawn from ARIES. To add Projects or Grants please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  16 August 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers