ARE HUMAN RIGHTS THE "LAST UTOPIAˮ?

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ARE HUMAN RIGHTS THE "LAST UTOPIAˮ?

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Felsefe ve Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi
Publication Date
Jan 07, 2015
Volume
20
Pages
183–192
Source
MyScienceWork
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Samuel Moyn's 'The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History (2010)' is one of the most valuable and controversial contributions to human rights of the last decade. In this wide-ranging and critical book, Samuel Moyn, a professor of history at Columbia University, takes a different view that human rights are a relatively new invention. He draws a sharp distinction between the modern concept of human rights and older claims of rights, such as the rights of man from the Enlightenment and the revolutionary period. Moyn regards modern international human rights, in particular Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as 'the last utopia', which emerged in an age when other, previously more appealing utopias, died. By analysing Samuel Moyn's arguments, this paper attempts to address the question of whether modern human rights are the ''last utopia'' or not. In order to answer this question, this paper aims to discuss relevant historical and contemporary examples.

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