Human Rights and the Uses of History

TitleHuman Rights and the Uses of History
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMoyn, Samuel
Number of Pages155

Where did human rights come from? This question, rarely asked before the end of the Cold War, has in recent years become a major focus of historical and ideological strife. In a series of critical essays, the author engages with some of the leading interpreters of human rights, who have been creating a field from scratch without due reflection about the local and temporary contexts of their storytelling. Particularly addressed in the book is how America's leading role in the world after 1989 became the implicit topic of treatments of the humanitarianism of the British Empire. But the author argues that the ultimate stakes in this debate concern not how human rights originated but what they should become after their twenty years of prestige between the bipolar Cold War and the multipolar world to come.

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