Peter Berkowitz

Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:

Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. In 2019-2021, he served as the Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, executive secretary of the department's Commission on Unalienable Rights, and senior adviser to the Secretary of State. 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 studies 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


Harry Jaffa’s Love-Hate Relationship With Moderation

by Peter Berkowitzvia The Washington Free Beacon
Sunday, September 19, 2021

"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!" So declared GOP presidential nominee Barry Goldwater to the delight of party loyalists at the July 1964 Republican National Convention on the way to a landslide loss to President Lyndon B. Johnson in the general election four months later.

Policy BriefsAnalysis and Commentary

Peter Berkowitz Illustrates The Beauty Of Natural Rights

by Peter Berkowitzvia PolicyEd
Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Peter Berkowitz highlights the natural rights identified in the Declaration of Independence and reflects on their importance.


Peter Berkowitz: Five Foreign Policy Lessons Not Learned In Afghanistan Debacle

interview with Peter Berkowitzvia The John Batchelor Show
Monday, September 13, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Peter Berkowitz talks about his Real Clear Politics article "Lessons of Freedom From 20 Years of War Against Jihadism."


Lessons Of Freedom From 20 Years Of War Against Jihadism

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Sunday, September 5, 2021

In mid-August, owing to shoddy planning and execution, the Biden administration’s frenetic troop withdrawal paved the way to the Taliban’s lightning takeover of Afghanistan. The United States left stranded behind enemy lines “at least hundreds of U.S. citizens” and tens of thousands of Afghans who supported American efforts. 


David Brooks Reproaches Elites, Recycles Cliches About The People

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Sunday, August 22, 2021

To grasp the left’s rage and the right’s embitterment, it is useful to keep in mind a major asymmetry that marks the nation’s long-standing culture wars: The right tends to know the left better than the left knows the right.


Blinken's Diversity & Inclusion Plan Erodes Equality & Excellence

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Sunday, August 8, 2021

On April 12, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the appointment of Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, a career Foreign Service Officer and former ambassador to Malta, as the State Department’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer (CDIO). 


Peter Berkowitz On The John Batchelor Show (Part 1)

interview with Peter Berkowitzvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, July 30, 2021

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Peter Berkowitz talks about his Real Clear Politics article "The Roots of the Elite Left's Attack on Freedom." Part 2 of the interview is available here.


The Roots Of The Elite Left's Attack On Freedom

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Sunday, July 25, 2021

“The CRT debate is just the latest squall in a tempest brewing and building for five years or so,” wrote Andrew Sullivan earlier this month in “What Happened to You: The radicalization of the American elite against liberalism.” Sullivan is correct that the left has turned sharply against freedom in recent years. And he vivisects the illiberal ideology about race and justice espoused by many schools, private corporations, and government agencies.

Analysis and Commentary

The Clash Within Liberal Democracy: Israel, The United States, And The West

by Peter Berkowitzvia Mosaic Magazine
Wednesday, July 21, 2021

To ease social animosities and heal political wounds, leaders and citizens in America and Israel must rededicate themselves to the principles of liberal democracy. (Note: to read the article, you must register an account on Mosaic)

Studying War No More

by Peter Berkowitzvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The Abraham Accords established at least a nascent Arab-Israeli amity. Now educational programs can nurture it.