In 2010, Samuel Moyn published “The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History“, a book that provoked its readers to critically engage with questions about when human rights emerged as an agenda on the international political scene. Moyn’s suggestion that this was a strikingly recent development (dating to 1977) raised deeper questions about the politics underlying human rights and its successes in displacing alternate utopian visions. Last year, Moyn published a book review of Jenny Martinez‘s “The Slave Trade and the Origins of International Human Rights Law” and Kathryn Sikkink‘s “The Justice Cascade: How Human Rights Prosecutions Are Changing World Politics“, criticizing both books for insufficiently acknowledging the limitations of international human rights law as an avenue for social and political reform.
This month’s Harvard Law Review [...]
Via Concurring Opinions