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. Since 2019, he has been serving on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff in the office of the secretary. 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

Analysis and Commentary

A Balm For The Pathologies Of Postmodernism

by Peter Berkowitzvia Mosaic Magazine
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Out of the pages of history, the distinguished scholar and essayist Gertrude Himmelfarb offers intellectual, moral, and political aid for our time.


The People Vs. The Political Professionals

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton—as well as his defeat of 16 rivals for the Republican nomination—was nothing if not a repudiation by a significant segment of American voters of rule by elites. Were the people justified?


Confronting The Administrative Power Grab

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Sunday, June 11, 2017

Administrative law is the collection of rules governing the welter of government agencies -- ranging from the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration to the Securities and Exchange Commission -- that are neither legislatures nor courts but which make binding law.


How Elites Got Us Into Trouble -- And Can Help Get Us Out

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Thursday, June 1, 2017

In the Trump era, the conviction has spread among elites—especially, but not only, among progressive elites—that the people have failed them. This very conviction, though, is an indication of how American elites have failed the people.


A Heretic At Duke Divinity School

by Peter Berkowitzvia Wall Street Journal
Sunday, May 21, 2017

The dean brings charges of ‘unprofessional conduct’ for a vigorous defense of free inquiry.

Analysis and Commentary

What 'Fascism' Talk Really Accomplishes

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Sunday, May 7, 2017

The allegation that Donald Trump’s presidency reflects the rise—or resurgence—of fascism in America has little basis in fact. But it is a sure way to amplify the scorn for Republicans gripping many on the left and the resentment of media and academic elites roiling many on the right. Such talk magnifies polarization and further debases American political discourse.


True Health-Care Reform Hinges On Doctors' Redefined Role

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The controversy over the future of health care in the United States is momentous. But the narrowness of the debate—which swirls around coverage, costs, and who pays—obscures other grave threats to the American health-care system.

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Before Push Comes to Shove

by Peter Berkowitzvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 24, 2017

What the president needs to learn—fast. 


Moderation Is In Short Supply -- And Much Needed

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Moderation—the tendency to avoid the extremes and strike sensible balances—does not appear to be President Trump’s strong suit. That so much of the opposition to him is bereft of this much-disparaged but essential virtue poses an even more alarming threat to the long-term public interest.

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The Task Of The Public Intellectual

by Peter Berkowitzvia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Amid democratic hustle and bustle and free market churn, it is the job of the thinker and writer to illuminate the public interest and conserve freedom.