Tyrell Haberkorn is a fellow in political and social change at the Australian National University. Her research focuses on state violence, human rights, and dissident cultural politics in Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand. Her first book, Revolution Interrupted: Farmers, Students, Law, and Violence in Northern Thailand (University of Wisconsin Press, 2011) combined archival research and oral history with textual analysis about land tenancy struggles to redefine the meaning of revolution in 20th-century Thailand.
During the fellowship year, Haberkorn is writing a history of modern Thailand viewed through the lens of impunity—the failure to hold state perpetrators accountable for wrongdoing—and the legal, political, and social structures that produce it. She is compelled by what seems at first be a paradox: for more than 80 years, Thai state engagement in human rights, understood as both a set of norms and a lived experience of them, has coexisted with impunity for extrajudicial violence. Inspired and discomfited by this inconsistency, Haberkorn’s project combines archival research, oral history, and court observation to trace the shape of this paradox and what holds it together.
Haberkorn earned her BA from the University of North Carolina and her MA and PhD from Cornell University. Her research has been supported by the Einstein Forum and the Australian Research Council. In addition to producing academic writing, Haberkorn frequently contributes articles and translations on human rights, dissident cultural work, and Thai politics to the digital commons openDemocracy and the online newspaper Prachatai.