Samuel Moyn is Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and History at Yale University. He came to Yale from Harvard University, where he was Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law and Professor of History. Before that he spent 13 years in the Columbia University history department, where he served as James Bryce Professor of European Legal History.
Moyn’s areas of interest in legal scholarship include international law, human rights, the law of war and legal thought, in both historical and current perspective. In history, he has worked on a diverse range of subjects, especially twentieth-century intellectual history, Cold War studies, European moral and political theory and Holocaust studies.
He has written, edited and co-edited a number of books in his fields of European intellectual history and human rights history, namely The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History (2010). Moyn’s other publications include: Christian Human Rights (2015, based on Mellon Distinguished Lectures at the University of Pennsylvania in fall 2014) and Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World (2018). His recent book is Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War (2021). His upcoming book is Liberalism Against Itself: Cold War Intellectuals and the Making of Our Times (2023).
Over the years Moyn has written in venues such as Boston Review, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Dissent, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He helps with several book series: the Brandeis Library of Modern Jewish Thought, the Cambridge University Press “Human Rights in History” series and the University of Pennsylvania Press “Intellectual History of the Modern Age” series. He co-founded and for a decade served as co-editor of the journal Humanity. He served as co-editor for seven years of Modern Intellectual History. He solicits book reviews on human rights for Lawfare and is on the editorial boards of Constellations, Global Intellectual History, the Historical Journal, Humanity, the Journal of the History of International Law, Modern Intellectual History and Modern Judaism. Moyn has been co-director of the New York-area Consortium for Intellectual and Cultural History and is a fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.
Moyn has received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Berggruen Institute and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. His books have won the Morris Forkosch Prize of the Journal of the History of Ideas and the Sybil Halpern Milton Memorial Book Prize of the German Studies Association. At Columbia University, he was given the Mark van Doren Teaching Award (46th Annual) by undergraduates and its Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award.
Moyn received a PhD in modern European history from the University of California-Berkeley (2000) and a JD from Harvard University (2001). In 2023, he joined the Council for Global Cooperation and is a member of the Board of Governors. He is also the Chair of the CGC’s Global Europe Program.