From the war on terror to the war for Ukraine

Professor Samuel Moyn delivers the RSE MacCormick event from a US perspective on how the war in Ukraine transformed public perception and mounted pressure to contain great power.

The posture of the West, weary of the ‘endless war’ on terror after twenty years, shifted dramatically in early 2022 in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This event will reflect from a US perspective on how the Russia-Ukraine war transformed public discourse and increased pressure to contain great-power war – bolstering it in some ways while setting it back in others.

“Great power” was initially used to describe the most influential powers in Europe during the post-Napoleonic era. Great powers are states with shared global interests, international influence and military strength to protect them from adversaries.

Professor Samuel Moyn teaches law and history at Yale University. He is the author of books on human rights, most recently Humane: How the Merged States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War.

About the RSE signature EVENT

Each year the RSE invites a prominent figure to deliver a speech on a matter of international importance known as the RSE MacCormick event. The event is named in honour of Professor Sir Neil MacCormick FRSE in recognition of his contribution to Scottish and European politics and his international work for the RSE.

All are welcome to the RSE’s signature events, designed to educate and encourage new thinking, ideas and conversations. This event aims to amplify the RSE’s mission of ‘knowledge made useful’ by enhancing our understanding of national and global scientific, cultural and economic topics.


Professor Samuel Moyn

Professor Samuel Moyn
Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and History

Professor 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.

His areas of interest in legal scholarship include international law, human rights, the law of war, and legal thought, from both historical and current perspectives. In intellectual history, he has worked on a diverse range of subjects, especially twentieth-century European moral and political theory.

Samuel Moyn wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera


Wednesday November 30th, 2022 18:00-19:00