Niall Ferguson

Senior Fellow

Niall Ferguson is a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford, and a senior fellow of the Center for European Studies, Harvard. He is also a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation Distinguished Scholar at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. He has written fourteen books, including The House of Rothschild, Empire, The War of the World, The Ascent of Money, The Great Degeneration, and Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist. His 2011 feature-length film Kissinger won the New York International Film Festival’s prize for best documentary. His PBS series The Ascent of Money won the International Emmy for best documentary. His many prizes and awards include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013). He writes a weekly column for the London Sunday Times and the Boston Globe.

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Recent Commentary

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The Russia Question

by Niall Fergusonvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 24, 2017

American relations with Moscow have become a geopolitical mess—a mess, very largely, of our own making. 


Are We On The Brink Of A Second Korean War?

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, April 17, 2017

Brinkmanship is back — and the world is back on the brink of war. In the 1950s, the word came to be associated with John Foster Dulles, secretary of state for President Dwight Eisenhower.. But brinkmanship fell into disrepute in the wake of the Berlin and Cuban Missile Crises under Eisenhower’s successor. 


Trump’s Red Line In Syria

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, April 10, 2017

When a president finds his approval rating in the doldrums and Congress slow to enact his domestic agenda, he naturally turns to foreign policy in search of quick wins.


Brexit Isn’t A Divorce, It’s A Schism

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, April 3, 2017

Thank God. Never again will those impossible people on the other side of the English Channel be able to interfere with our affairs. Now we can take back control and sit back and watch their union fall apart.


What Comes Before Jihad

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, March 27, 2017

“All terrorists are politely reminded that this is London and whatever you do to us we will drink tea and jolly well carry on. Thank you.” It was hard not to smile at the signs like this one that appeared in numerous Tube stations in the wake of Khalid Masood’s murderous rampage through Westminster, was it not? How ineffably British. The stiff upper lip. Keep calm and carry on.


China Poised To Challenge The US In Tech Revolution

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, March 20, 2017

Only in China could there already be a Museum of Internet Finance. Though most Americans have barely adopted the term “Fintech,” online banking is already old hat in Beijing. On Thursday I toured the museum with its founder, Wang Wei, who delighted in showing me exhibits like a bitcoin ATM. The cryptocurrency is just eight years old. In today’s China, that’s ancient enough to belong in a glass display case.


Cyber War I Has Already Begun

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, March 13, 2017

To each American administration, its war. Which will be Donald Trump’s?

Analysis and Commentary

The Hill, The Swamp, And Precursors To Trump

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, March 6, 2017

The president has declared war on the press. He cannot forgive the media for saying that the crowd at his inaugural was small. He is even picking fights with a TV comedy show. His press secretary is a laughing stock. Worse, the president is trying to pick and choose between news outlets, excluding some from briefings. 

US flag on military helmet

In Praise Of American Militarism

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, February 27, 2017

It was nearly 52 years ago, on March 8, 1965, that the first American combat battalions came ashore at Da Nang, South Vietnam. In the subsequent six months, the US government took the worst strategic decision of modern times: the decision to escalate that military commitment just enough to entangle the United States in the war between North and South Vietnam, but not enough to win it.

Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on
Analysis and Commentary

The Global Network Has Become Dangerously Unstable

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, February 20, 2017

The world today is like a giant network on the verge of a cataclysmic outage.