The Political Origins of Global Justice

Professor Samuel Moyn, Professor of Law and History at Harvard University

Co-presented with the program Inventing the International in the Laureate Research Program in International History, and the Sydney Intellectual History Network (SIHN)

22 July, 2014

This lecture examines why philosophers in our time consider our social contract a potentially global affair – in a sharp break with the theory of the social contract before. The lecture contends that the invention of the idea and field of "global justice" occurred in reaction to a postcolonial revolt of the global south at the height of its power in history, in the middle of the 1970s, before the world debt crisis and global economic governance of the 1980s and since have ironically made the very principles the new philosophy global justice proclaims further from reality than before the field existed.

Professor Samuel Moyn

Professor Samuel Moyn has taught history at Columbia University since 2001. His most recent book is Human Rights and the Uses of History (2014). He is now at work on the relationship between human rights and global economic transformations.