Russell A. Berman

Senior Fellow
Biography: 

Russell A. Berman, the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a co-chair of the Working Group on Islamism and the International Order.

Berman specializes in the study of German literary history and cultural politics. He is a member of both the Department of German Studies and the Department of Comparative Literature at Stanford. He has served in numerous administrative positions at Stanford.

He is the author of numerous articles and books including Enlightenment or Empire: Colonial Discourse in German Culture (1998) and The Rise of the Modern German Novel: Crisis and Charisma (1986), both of which won the Outstanding Book Award of the German Studies Association (in 1987 and 2000, respectively). Hoover Institution Press published his books Freedom or Terror: Europe Faces Jihad (2010) and Anti-Americanism in Europe: A Cultural Problem (2004). His other books include Fiction Sets You Free: Literature, Liberty and Western Culture (2007), Cultural Studies of Modern Germany: Representation and Nationhood (1993), Modern Culture and Critical Theory: Art, Politics and the Legacy of the Frankfurt School (1989), and Between Fontane and Tucholsky: Literary Criticism and the Public Sphere in Wilhelmine Germany (1983). He has also published numerous articles in the Hoover Digest, most recently "Spoken Like a World Citizen" (spring 2011). His writings have also appeared in Defining Ideas and Advancing a Free Society.

Berman has received many honors and awards including a Mellon Faculty Fellowship at Harvard University (1982–83), an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1988–89), and the Bundesverdienstkreuz of the Federal Republic of Germany (1997).

Berman received his BA in 1972 from Harvard and his doctorate from Washington University in 1979.

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Recent Commentary

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Berlin's Politics Of Appeasement

by Russell A. Bermanvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Brexit means that power has shifted to Germany—but will the country be a reliable ally against Russia?

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Security, Strategy, And Values

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Caravan
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

ISIS terrorism in Paris and Brussels underscores the global character of the Islamist threat, but this should surprise no one, given the history of Islamist violence since September 11, 2001.

Mousque of Al-aqsa in Old Town - Jerusalem, Israel
Analysis and Commentary

Representing The Trial: Judith Butler Reads Hannah Arendt Reading Adolf Eichmann

by Russell A. Bermanvia Fathom Journal
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

In 1961 Adolf Eichmann, one of the architects of the Shoah, was apprehended in Argentina by Israeli agents and brought to Jerusalem where he was put on trial, convicted and executed. The trial was a turning point in the history of Holocaust jurisprudence and the judicial treatment of human rights crimes more generally.

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Mourning, Solidarity And “Transversal Grief”: How Judith Butler Misreads Paris

by Russell A. Bermanvia Telos
Monday, March 28, 2016

Traveling in Paris, Judith Butler published a “letter” dated November 14, in English on the Verso blog and in French in Libération, the day after the ISIS attacks, entitled “Mourning becomes the Law.”

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Saudi Strategy And Ours

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Caravan
Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Saudi strategy is a response to its single largest challenge, the rise of Iranian power. As Iran gains greater access to resources and international influence, Riyadh fears that Tehran will project its power throughout the region in order to further its anti-Saudi program.

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Nuclear Germany: Could The Impossible Become The Inevitable?

by Russell A. Bermanvia Strategika
Friday, December 4, 2015

Drawing on the older traditions of the Prussian army, nineteenth-century Germany grew into a formidable military power, and during the twentieth century it nearly dominated Europe. It took two world wars to defeat Germany and to contain its aggressive ambitions.

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After Paris Is Before Paris: ISIS And Strategy

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Caravan
Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The attacks in Paris were hardly necessary to demonstrate the brutality of ISIS. Its threat to regional stability in the Middle East has long been in evidence, and now we know that its terror can reach into Western capitals. But ISIS is hardly the only challenge to American power and the international order.

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Helmut Schmidt, 1918–2015: A German ‘Macher’

by Russell A. Bermanvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A tribute to a chancellor of Germany who could get things done.

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Repercussions Of The Deal: In Syria, Russia And Europe

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Caravan
Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The strategic consequences of the deal have become apparent already: The credibility of American power in the region has declined, as the alliance between Iran and Russia grows ever more powerful. In fact, the text of the deal explicitly blessed this alliance by naming Russia an authorized supplier of enriched uranium. However one evaluates the implications of the deal for nuclear security, the political ramifications have become unmistakable.

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The Shadow of Yalta

by Russell A. Bermanvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Iran deal, like Roosevelt’s with the Soviets, will weaken America abroad and give an archrival regional hegemony. 

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