Niall Ferguson

Milbank Family Senior Fellow

Niall Ferguson, MA, DPhil, FRSE, is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. He is also a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Pity of WarThe House of RothschildEmpireCivilization, and Kissinger, 1923–1968: The Idealist, which won the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize. He is an award-making filmmaker, too, having won an international Emmy for his PBS series The Ascent of Money. In 2020 he joined Bloomberg Opinion as a columnist. In addition, he is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, a New York–based advisory firm; a cofounding board member of Ualá, a Latin American financial technology company; and a trustee of both the New-York Historical Society and the London-based Centre for Policy Studies. His most recent book, The Square and the Tower, was published in the United States in 2018 and was a New York Times best seller. A three-part television adaptation, Niall Ferguson’s Networld, aired on PBS in March 2020. His next book, Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, will be published in May 2021.

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Recent Commentary

DIVORCE, TRANSATLANTIC STYLE? The Future of the Transatlantic Alliance

with Niall Ferguson, Josef Joffe, Coit Blackervia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, November 3, 2004

For forty-five years, the threat of conflict with the Soviet Union brought the United States and Western Europe into a tight partnership, most notably represented by the NATO military alliance. But with the Soviet Union gone and the European Union on the road to possible superpower status in its own right, does the transatlantic alliance have a future? Peter Robinson speaks with Niall Ferguson, Josef Joffe, and Coit Blacker.

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A World without Power

by Niall Fergusonvia Hoover Digest
Saturday, October 30, 2004

Tired of American global dominance? Just consider the alternatives. By Niall Ferguson.


by Niall Fergusonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 30, 2004

Niall Ferguson examines the impact of Europe’s growing Muslim population on a continent that otherwise faces low birthrates and aging populations.

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The Reluctant Empire

by Niall Fergusonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 30, 2004

By most conventional measures of power—economic, military, and cultural—there has never been an empire mightier than that of the United States today. Yet why does America have such trouble using this power effectively? By Niall Ferguson.

THE RELUCTANT EMPIRE: Is America an Imperial Power?

with Niall Ferguson, David M. Kennedyvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, October 16, 2003

George W. Bush, during the 2000 presidential campaign said that "America has never been an empire... We may be the only great power in history that had the chance, and refused." Was then-candidate Bush right when he made those remarks? Or has America become an imperial power in all but name? How do America's unique historical circumstances predispose it to handle the unrivaled power it holds in the world today? And what lessons can we draw from our nearest historical antecedent, the British Empire of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries?

Military Spending 2002 (in millions of constant 1995 U.S. dollars)

What Is Power?

by Niall Fergusonvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Which global players have power today—and which are likely to acquire it in the coming decades? By Niall Ferguson.

EMPIRE STATE BUILDING? Is America Becoming an Empire?

with Mark Danner, Niall Fergusonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, February 28, 2003

Since the end of the cold war, the world has watched as the United States became, not merely the world's only superpower but what the French began calling a "hyperpower." Now, with the United States asserting its will and power on such issues as Iraq and the war on terror while rejecting contraints that the international community tries to place on it, some suggest that the term American empire is more appropriate. If America does have an empire, it is not based on territorial expansion as in past empires. So what is it based on? And would taking on the role of imperial hegemon be good for America and the world?