Peter Berkowitz

Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow

Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. At Hoover, he chairs the Jean Perkins Task Force on National Security and Law and cochairs the Boyd and Jill Smith Task Force on Virtues of a Free Society.

He studies and writes about, among other things, constitutional government, conservatism and progressivism in the United States, liberal education, national security and law, and Middle East politics. He is the author of Constitutional Conservatism: Liberty, Self-Government, and Political Moderation (Hoover Institution Press, 2013), Israel and the Struggle over the International Laws of War (Hoover Institution Press, 2012), Virtue and the Making of Modern Liberalism (Princeton University Press, 1999) and Nietzsche: The Ethics of an Immoralist (Harvard University Press, 1995).

He is the editor of The Future of American Intelligence (2005), Terrorism, the Laws of War, and the Constitution: Debating the Enemy Combatant Cases (2005), the companion volumes Varieties of Conservatism in America (2004) and Varieties of Progressivism in America (2004), and and Never a Matter of Indifference: Sustaining Virtue in a Free Republic (2003), all from the Hoover Institution Press. In 2004, with coeditor Tod Lindberg, he launched Hoover Studies in Politics, Economics, and Society, a series of concise works on leading issues and controversies.

He has written hundreds of essays, articles, and reviews on many subjects for a variety of publications, including the American Political Science Review, the Atlantic, the Boston Globe, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Claremont Review of Books, Commentary, Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, the London Review of Books, National Review, the New Republic, the New York Post, the New York Sun, PJ Media, Policy Review, the Public Interest, Real Clear Politics, the Times Literary Supplement, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Weekly Standard, the Wilson Quarterly, and the Yale Law Journal.

He holds a JD and a PhD in political science from Yale University; an MA in philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and a BA in English literature from Swarthmore College.

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Recent Commentary

Hot air ballons in Bagan, Myanmar
Featured Commentary

Burmese Visitors Get a Taste of Democracy and Hope

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, July 25, 2014

“I was held for seven years as a political prisoner,” explained the soft-spoken 20-something woman from Burma (also known as Myanmar). “I want to understand freedom in America,” she continued with hopeful eyes and a determined voice, “so I can help people in my country.”

Featured Commentary

The Left's Hollow Complaints About Hobby Lobby

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Saturday, July 12, 2014

Progressives are fond of saying that they stand for empathy and compromise, and are quick to blame conservatives for polarizing our politics. Their feverish reaction last week to the Supreme Court’s thoughtful 5-4 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. shows that progressives could use more of the virtues they claim as their own.

How to Bring Conservatives Together

by Peter Berkowitzvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Raise the banner of individual liberty and govern under it.

Barack Obama
Featured Commentary

Obama's "Drop the Politics" Plea: Demagoguery in Disguise

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sometimes a speech is just a speech. And sometimes it furnishes a window on a politician’s temperament and provides clarifying insight into how he understands political opponents, his office, and fellow citizens.

Featured Commentary

An Open Letter to Swarthmore's Board of Managers

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Saturday, June 28, 2014

Dear Members of the Board:

I read with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation the unexpected announcement earlier this month that President Rebecca Chopp is departing Swarthmore to become the chancellor of the University of Denver.

Global Education
Featured Commentary

Affirmative Action and the Demotion of Truth

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

For several decades, the number of students attending college in the United States has been growing rapidly: Over the last 20 years or so, enrollments have risen by about 50 percent, and over the last 50 years they have more than quadrupled. During this time, especially the last two decades, the polarization of our politics has markedly intensified.


Featured Commentary

Predictable Reactions After the Abduction of Three Israeli Students

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Israel has been riveted in recent days by the abduction of three Jewish religious students who were hitchhiking in the West Bank region of Gush Etzion


GOP Image
Featured Commentary

A Practical Plan for Recalibrating Conservatism

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Monday, June 9, 2014

Recent public opinion polls and President Obama’s serial stumbling the last few weeks are making Republicans increasingly hopeful and Democrats increasingly apprehensive that the November midterm elections will leave the GOP in control of both houses of Congress. 

Featured Commentary

Partial Unilateral Withdrawal: Israel's Next Step?

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, May 30, 2014

What's the next step?

That's the question again on the minds of those who care about Israel, the Palestinians—and America’s interests in the Middle East—following the April collapse of Secretary of State John Kerry’s well-intentioned if quixotic attempt to reach a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Liberty in the United States

Peter Berkowitz on the John Batchelor Show

by Peter Berkowitzvia John Batchelor Show
Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hoover senior fellow Peter Berkowitz's interview on the John Batchelor Show begins at 29:09.