The World of Croesus, the Nation of Tellus: A Review Essay on Samuel Moyn's Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World
H-Diplo Roundtable Review of Samuel Moyn, Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World. Boston: Boston: Belknap Press, 2018.
6 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2019
Date Written: December 21, 2018
Understanding the original meaning of the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights requires moving beyond myths of its creation to a focus on its intended audience. Samuel Moyn's book argues that the goal of the UDHR was to enshrine the national welfare-state as the template for states in the post-colonial, post-World War II world. Yet according to Moyn the problem with this model of human rights was its silence on global redistribution questions. He therefore urges a reconsideration of the questions of state-based welfarism and global socialism in the current moment. This revisionist approach forces a necessary re-engagement with the role of the state in international legal, economic, and political imbalances. But it leaves open the question of the relationship between the state and its constituent unit: the nation.
Keywords: international law, nation-state, welfarism, global redistribution, human rights, united nations, historiography
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