The Political Origins of Global Justice

with Professor Samuel Moyn

Against the background of the broader history of the idea of human rights, this lecture investigates when and why the contemporary field of 'global justice' in philosophy and political theory was invented. Returning to the engagement of American liberals with the decolonization process in the 1970s, in the aftermath of the Vietnam war and even as more powerful tendencies were about to bring the welfarist ideal of the postwar era low, this lecture presents contemporary 'cosmopolitanism' as a response to a forgotten revolt of the global south against the prevailing economic order of our age.

Samuel Moyn, Professor, Harvard Law School, is the author of the acclaimed The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History (Harvard University Press, 2010). His recent works include Human Rights and the Uses of History (Verso Books, 2014) and the coedited volumesRethinking Modern European Intellectual History (Oxford University Press, 2014) and The Breakthrough: Human Rights in the 1970s(University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014). He is currently writing a history of human rights since the 1970s.
This Public Lecture is co-hosted by the Institute for International Law and the Humanities (IILAH) at the Melbourne Law School and the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies in the Faculty of Arts.

'Australia in the World’ is a lecture and seminar series that presents international and transnational perspectives on the past. The series highlights the interconnectedness of past worlds and future challenges with speakers from around the country and across the globe.

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