Samuel Moyn is professor of law and history at Harvard University. His most recent book is Human Rights and the Uses of History, which collects some of his pieces for this magazine.
Does David Bromwich’s idea of a Burkean left amount to anything more than contempt for Obama?
Why are philosophers invoking the notion of human dignity to revitalize theories of political ethics?
Immigration, second-class wages, torture and taboo
How the work of a literary critic became the proxy for our preoccupation with the horrors of torture.
Have histories of famines caused by totalitarianism become a distraction to the new politics of hunger?
Jenny Martinez and Kathryn Sikkink offer conflicting histories of the ascendency of international courts.
Why does John Ikenberry think the sorrows of liberal internationalism are temporary?
In Bloodlands Timothy Snyder attempts to link the Holocaust to a syndrome of political killing endorsed by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
Human rights emerged not in the 1940s but the 1970s, and on the ruins of prior dreams.