Peter Berkowitz

Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
Biography: 

Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is a 2017 winner of the Bradley Prize. At Hoover, he is a member of the Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group. In addition, he serves as dean of students for the Hertog Political Studies Program and for The Public Interest Fellowship, and teaches for the Tikvah Fund in the United States and in Israel. 

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 seven collections of essays on political ideas and institutions published by the Hoover Institution: Renewing the American Constitutional Tradition (2014); Future Challenges in National Security and Law (2010); The Future of American Intelligence (2005); Terrorism, the Laws of War, and the Constitution: Debating the Enemy Combatant Cases (2005); Varieties of Conservatism in America (2004); Varieties of Progressivism in America (2004); and Never a Matter of Indifference: Sustaining Virtue in a Free Republic (2003).

He is a contributor at RealClearPolitics, and has written hundreds of articles,essays and reviews on a range of subjects for a variety of publications, including The American InterestAmerican Political Science ReviewThe AtlanticThe Chronicle of Higher EducationClaremont Review of BooksCommentaryFirst ThingsForbes.comHaaretzThe Jerusalem PostLondon Review of BooksNational JournalNational ReviewThe New CriterionThe New RepublicPolicy ReviewPoliticoThe Public InterestThe Times Literary SupplementThe Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostThe Weekly StandardThe Wilson Quarterly, and the Yale Law Journal.

In addition to teaching regularly in the United States and Israel, Dr. Berkowitz has led seminars on the principles of freedom and the American constitutional tradition for students from Burma at the George W. Bush Presidential Center and for Korean students at Underwood International College at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.

He taught constitutional law and jurisprudence at George Mason University School of Law from 1999 to 2006, and political philosophy in the department of government at Harvard University from 1990 to 1999.

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

The Statue of Liberty.
Analysis and Commentary

Anti-Liberal Zealotry Part V: Rediscovering Liberalism

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, September 28, 2018

In “Why Liberalism Failed,” Patrick Deneen makes an eye-opening contribution to the critique of liberalism. Equating liberalism with the modern tradition of freedom, he distills abuses of state power, nature, culture, technology, and education that are undertaken in freedom’s name yet leave citizens less self-sufficient, less disposed to cooperate, and less capable of looking beyond material goods and social status to the cultivation of character and to the claims of duty.

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Anti-Liberal Zealotry Part IV: Classical And Modern Lessons Of Moderation

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Policy
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

In “Why Liberalism Failed,” Patrick Deneen contends that today’s liberal regimes deserve to perish because they do not live up to the classical conception of political excellence. But the spirit of his critique clashes with the purpose of the ancients’ examination of the best regime. 

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Anti-Liberal Zealotry Part III: Locke And The Liberal Tradition

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Policy
Friday, September 21, 2018

In “Why Liberalism Failed,” Patrick Deneen attributes to John Locke’s liberalism the purpose of emancipating individuals from every imaginable form of constraint. This undergirds Deneen’s thesis that liberalism promulgates false and self-defeating ideas about human nature, morality, and politics.

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Anti-Liberal Zealotry Part II: The Crux Of Deneen's Critique Of Liberalism

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Policy
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Patrick Deneen, professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, has written an angry and breathless polemic against liberalism in the large sense — that is, the school of political thought that holds that human beings are by nature free and equal, and that the chief purpose of government is to secure individual rights.

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Anti-Liberal Zealotry Part I: Our Immoderation

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, September 14, 2018

Our politics increasingly encourages citizens — members of the intellectual and political elite particularly — to take to an extreme the perennial human propensity to take one’s opinions to an extreme. This imperils liberal democracy in America.

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Israel Wrestles With Nationalism And Freedom

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

In mid-July, by a vote of 62-55, with two abstentions, the Knesset passed the Basic Law on Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People. The legislation — Basic Laws in Israel enjoy constitutional status although only a simple parliamentary majority is needed to pass or repeal them — reaffirmed principles set forth in the country’s May 1948 Declaration of Independence.

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Israel at Seventy

by Peter Berkowitzvia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 9, 2018

A nation that “encourages its citizens to challenge authority, ask the next question, and defy the obvious.”

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Conservatism's Challenges In The Age Of Trump

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Sunday, July 8, 2018

In these confounding times, conservatives would do well to recall that modern conservatism is a creature of confounding times. Both the broad school of politics that emerged in England in the 17th and 18th centuries and the mature, post-World War II American variant arose to combat new threats to freedom -- and freedom’s moral, cultural, and religious preconditions.

Analysis and Commentary

Religious Freedom Isn't Baked Into Wedding Cake Ruling

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Last week in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Supreme Court threaded the needle. Whether the thread will hold is uncertain. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s narrowly crafted majority opinion protected religious liberty without impairing gay rights.

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Israel Can Ease Gaza Tensions, But So Must The U.N.

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Thursday, June 7, 2018

In mid-May, freelance journalist Ahmed Abu Artema, an organizer of "Gaza’s Great Return March," emphasized in a New York Times op-ed the peaceful intentions of a movement that has sparked violence since late-March and led to dozens of Palestinians killed and thousands injured by Israel in defense of its border.

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