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 cochaired 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

Analysis and Commentary

A Defense of Obama That Cherry-Picks The Facts

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

In his farewell address last week, President Obama contended that his administration had accomplished more than one could have reasonably expected. But Donald Trump’s election threatens the legacy of the president who aspired to be transformative in the manner of Ronald Reagan.


Weaponized International Law

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Saturday, January 7, 2017

If international law is law in the ordinary sense of the term—and not moral posturing, political maneuvering, or personal payback—then it must comprise settled and public requirements, effective and even-handed implementation, and impartial resolution of disputes.


Teaching The Tradition Of Freedom To Israel's Ultra-Orthodox

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Last week, I taught an intensive two-day seminar in Jerusalem on the tradition of modern freedom to male haredi (“God fearing” in Hebrew) or ultra-Orthodox, Jews.


Can Trump And Constitutional Conservatism Coexist?

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Sunday, December 11, 2016

The idea of a “constitutional conservatism” is back in the news. It came into vogue on the right in response to the pursuit by President Obama—after his victory in the 2008 presidential election and the Democrats’ sweep of both houses of Congress—of ambitious progressive policies.


What Trump Needs To Know About The Middle East

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Sunday, December 4, 2016

As he has in nearly every domain and for most every issue, President-elect Donald Trump has offered blunt assessments and unequivocal opinions about Middle East politics.

The Supreme Court

A Poor Guide For Trump's High Court Choices

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Monday, November 28, 2016

To the chagrin of the vast majority of professors of constitutional law, President-elect Donald Trump has promised to appoint judges to the Supreme Court and throughout the federal judiciary who believe that the Constitution’s original meaning provides authoritative guidance in resolving cases and controversies.


Why The Right Splintered But The Left United

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Wednesday, November 2, 2016

After the voters elect the 45th president of the United States next week, a portentous question will remain: Why did the Republican nominee’s larger-than-life defects trigger a civil war among conservatives, while progressives—especially elite progressives—fell into line and rallied around a Democratic nominee whose policy blunders, hypocrisy, and proclivity to lie to the American people to cover up cronyism and lawlessness have been amply documented?

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Giving Israel Its Due

by Peter Berkowitzvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A new book offers a much-needed account of the Jewish state’s many achievements.


Berkeley Harassment Case Sparks Due-Process Lawsuit

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Education
Monday, October 3, 2016

On Sept. 15, University of California, Berkeley law professor and former dean of the law school Sujit Choudhry filed a lawsuit in United States District Court for the Northern District of California alleging that the Regents of the University of California violated his constitutional rights to due process and equal protection of the laws.

Analysis and Commentary

A Salutary Thesis Overestimates The Bible, And Underestimates Modern Thought

by Peter Berkowitzvia Mosaic Magazine
Monday, September 26, 2016

The Ten Commandments tell us nothing directly, and little indirectly, about the proper limits of government power. For that we must turn to John Locke.