BOOK LAUNCH! Human Rights for Pragmatists by Jack Snyder

On 16 May 2023, CGHR organised a book launch—“Human Rights for Pragmatists: Social Power in Modern Times”.  

In this book, Jack Snyder holds that human rights are among our most pressing issues today, yet rights promoters have reached an impasse in their effort to achieve rights for all. “Human Rights for Pragmatists” explains why: activists prioritize universal legal and moral norms, backed by the public shaming of violators, but in fact rights prevail only when they serve the interests of powerful local constituencies.

In the talk, Jack Snyder demonstrated that where local power and politics lead, rights follow. He presented an innovative roadmap for addressing a broad agenda of human rights concerns: impunity for atrocities, dilemmas of free speech in the age of social media, entrenched abuses of women’s rights, and more.

Emma Mackinnon (University Assistant Professor in History, University of Cambridge) provided a review of Jack’s book, and Dr Devon Curtis (host), moderated the session.