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When Splitters become Lumpers: Pitfalls of a Long History of Human Rights

For a close reader of Moyn's work on human rights, the differences between Not Enough and The Last Utopia are head-spinning. Where the latter attacked the very idea of historic continuity in explaining the human rights movement that emerged in the 1970s, Not Enough builds an entire narrative on continuities. The result is an aspirational history for a reformed human rights movement, a history of roads not taken that can still be reclaimed. By not heeding his own lessons from Last Utopia, Moyn understates the emergent human rights movement’s inability to contest what became neoliberalism.