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Catalog Archive / Spring 2019

In Plain Sight
Impunity and Human Rights in Thailand

New Perspectives in Southeast Asian Studies
Alfred W. McCoy, Ian Baird, Katherine A. Bowie, and Anne Ruth Hansen, Series Editors

“Haberkorn’s book is an important contribution to the body of knowledge on this subject and with its incredible richness in detail and analysis, it will for a long time be a standard reference for everyone writing on human rights in Thailand.”
Asia in Focus

Following a 1932 coup d'état in Thailand that ended absolute monarchy and established a constitution, the Thai state that emerged has suppressed political dissent through detention, torture, forced reeducation, disappearances, assassinations, and massacres. In Plain Sight shows how these abuses, both hidden and occurring in public view, have become institutionalized through a chronic failure to hold perpetrators accountable. Tyrell Haberkorn's deeply researched revisionist history of modern Thailand highlights the legal, political, and social mechanisms that have produced such impunity and documents continual and courageous challenges to state domination.


Portrait of Author Tyrell Haberkorn is an associate professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is the author of Revolution Interrupted: Farmers, Students, Law, and Violence in Northern Thailand.




“Haberkorn urges us to dream of a time of ‘memories after dictatorship,’ and meanwhile to celebrate and cheer anything that questions, resists and challenges the regime of impunity. Such as this superb book.”
Bangkok Post

“This deeply researched history focuses not so much on the human rights violations that have occurred in Thailand during its frequent episodes of military rule but on the mechanism by which the perpetrators have avoided accountability.”
Foreign Affairs

“Powerfully uncovers and documents many episodes of state intimidation and violence in postwar Thailand. Haberkorn deftly probes the nature and domestic actions of the Thai state and holds it accountable for its own history.”
—Ben Kiernan, author of The Pol Pot Regime and Viet Nam

“This stunning new book goes far beyond Thailand's heartrending experience of serial dictatorship without accountability and state formation grounded on impunity for crime. Haberkorn also compellingly engages Thailand's place in the rise of human rights movements. Her documentation of an 'injustice cascade' reorients the study of global history and politics.”
—Samuel Moyn, author of Human Rights and the Uses of History

“Required reading for anyone who wants to understand modern Thailand. Haberkorn reveals a state where political violence is normalized as it has established and maintained a narrow royalist and elitist regime.”
—Kevin Hewison, editor of Political Change in Thailand



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New in Paperback!
July 2019
LC: 2017010439 JC
376 pp. 6 x 9

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Paper $21.95 S
ISBN 978-0-299-31444-6
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Casebound $79.95 S
ISBN 978-0-299-31440-8
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