Samuel Moyn

Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and History

J.D., Harvard Law School, 2001

Ph.D. (History), University of California, Berkeley, 2000

A.B., Washington University in St. Louis, 1994

Courses Taught
  • Conservatism
  • Constitutional Law
  • International Human Rights
  • Supreme Court Alternatives
Samuel Moyn

Samuel Moyn is Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and History at Yale University. He received a doctorate in modern European history from the University of California-Berkeley in 2000 and a law degree from Harvard University in 2001. He came to Yale from Harvard University, where he was Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law and Professor of History. Before this, he spent 13 years in the Columbia University history department, where he was most recently James Bryce Professor of European Legal History.

His 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 intellectual history, he has worked on a diverse range of subjects, especially twentieth-century European moral and political theory.

He has written several books in his fields of European intellectual history and human rights history, including The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History (2010), and edited or coedited a number of others. His most recent books are 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 newest book is Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2021). Over the years, he 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 cofounded and for a decade served as coeditor of the journal Humanity; he served as coeditor 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.

He 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, he was given the Mark van Doren Teaching Award (46th Annual) by undergraduates.