Niall Ferguson

Milbank Family Senior Fellow

Niall Ferguson, MA, D.Phil., is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior fellow of the Center for European Studies, Harvard, where he served for twelve years as the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History. 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 is the author of fifteen books, most recently The Square and the Tower. His previous book, Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist, 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. His many other prizes 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). In addition to writing a weekly column for the Sunday Times (London) and the Boston Globe, he is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, an advisory firm. He also serves on the board of Affiliated Managers Group. His new book, The Square and the Tower, in published in the U.S. in January.

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Recent Commentary

Cowboys and Indians

by Niall Fergusonvia Hoover Digest
Saturday, July 30, 2005

Want the American troops out of Iraq now? Be careful what you wish for. By Niall Ferguson.

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Our Currency, Your Problem

by Niall Fergusonvia Hoover Digest
Saturday, April 30, 2005

How long can the Chinese go on financing America’s deficit spending? The answer may be a lot longer than the dollar pessimists expect. By Niall Ferguson.


with Niall Ferguson, Ivan Elandvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Since the end of the cold war, the United States has been the world's only superpower, accounting for 43 percent of the world's military expenditures. During this time, America has led major interventions into Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Are the United States and the world better off when America follows a unilateral, interventionist foreign policy? Or should the United States reduce its overseas presence and instead emphasize international cooperation? Peter Robinson speaks with Niall Ferguson and Ivan Eland.

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?