Author Archives: Samuel Moyn

About Samuel Moyn

Samuel Moyn is Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law and Professor of History at Harvard University. His most recent book is Christian Human Rights (Pennsylvania, 2015), and he is a coeditor of Humanity. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/history/fac-bios/Moyn/faculty.html

Newtopia: The State of Human Rights

If you pass through Belgium this fall, stop by "Newtopia: The State of Human Rights," an ambitious new art exhibition staged by Katerina Gregos and others. (Here's an interview with Gregos.) Along with Ariella Azoulay, Stéphane Hessel, and Elena Sorokina, I've offerd a short text for the catalogue.

Simmons, social mobilization, and the civil rights movement

I’ve abstained from commenting on Beth Simmons’s early chapter about the history of human rights. It is not so much that, in my obviously self-interested view as a contributor to that field, her chapter is often uncritical and occasionally unsubstantiated (in its frequent repetition of the commonplace but dubious notion that the Holocaust prompted human rights law for instance). Rather, Simmons’s history of the origins of human rights doesn’t matter to her argument.

Simmons and self-emancipation

Domestic politics, then. This interim post explores how Beth Simmons thinks the interface between international treaties and domestic forces works. When she turns to the domestic forum, Simmons lays out a tripartite structure for how domestic actors can make use of the new tool of international treaties – at any rate, more than they could make of the hazy moral norms of natural law, or their clarification in written form in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

Beth Simmons’s realism

Beth Simmons’s Mobilizing for Human Rights: International Law in Domestic Politics (Cambridge, 2009) has been celebrated as the most significant work in the field in many years. And the reception of the book is generally well deserved. As most people know, Simmons brings extraordinary quantitative rigor to the topic of whether several human rights treaties make a difference.

Casualties of Care

Editorial collective member Miriam Ticktin has just published her book, Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Humanitarianism in France with University of California Press. Congratulations! Here is the book description: