Human Rights Under Attack: What Comes Next?

| December 2018
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Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World, Samuel Moyn (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2018), 296 pp., $29.95 cloth, $29.95 eBook.

Abstract: Samuel Moyn argues that the human rights movement, which thrived in the 1970s and peaked after the Cold War, became dominated by a misplaced focus on sufficiency rather than equality, ultimately abetting neoliberalism. He deplores the rise and fall of an egalitarian and redistributive worldview, from the Jacobin era to the slow decline of socialism in the twentieth century, culminating in ineffectual and unambitious human rights endeavors. Here Moyn cavalierly dismisses the enormous achievements of the human rights movement in many countries, overlooking the contributions of unsung heroes who fought for human rights at the peril of their lives. Even readers who share Moyn’s political perspective will find little solace, either in the form of lessons learned or in forward-looking strategies for addressing socioeconomic inequity and other human rights violations of our time.

Keywords: human rights, neoliberalism, inequality, sufficiency, egalitarianism, Samuel Moyn

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Category: International Law and Human Rights, Issue 32.4, Review Essays

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