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

Moderation Is No Vice

by Peter Berkowitzvia Weekly Standard
Monday, July 27, 2009

Moderation has acquired a bad name in certain prominent conservative precincts, which is unfortunate since it is an essential political virtue and a quintessentially conservative virtue...


by Peter Berkowitzvia Policy Review
Friday, July 24, 2009

Peter Berkowitz on The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities Throughout American History by Patrick Allitt

Analysis and Commentary

Bibi's Choice

by Peter Berkowitzvia Weekly Standard
Monday, July 13, 2009

Don't be misled by how little was said about Iran in the major speeches recently delivered by President Barack Obama at Cairo University and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Bar-Ilan University...

Analysis and Commentary

Obama’s Empathy Test

by Peter Berkowitzvia Weekly Standard
Monday, July 13, 2009

In discharging their constitutional duty to provide advice and, if they deem appropriate, give consent to President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, Senators should examine the critical importance the president attaches to empathy...

Analysis and Commentary

Conservatism and the University Curriculum

by Peter Berkowitzvia Wall Street Journal
Saturday, June 13, 2009

The political science departments at elite private universities such as Harvard and Yale, at leading small liberal arts colleges like Swarthmore and Williams, and at distinguished large public universities like the University of Maryland and the University of California, Berkeley, offer undergraduates a variety of courses on a range of topics...

God and John Rawls

by Peter Berkowitzvia Policy Review
Friday, May 29, 2009

Peter Berkowitz on A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and Faith by John Rawls edited by Thomas Nagel

Peter Berkowitz

Pragmatism, Obama Style

by Peter Berkowitzvia Defining Ideas
Monday, May 4, 2009

At its most extreme, philosophical pragmatism denies the very existence of objective truth, arguing that opinions we declare true are merely those that have proved useful to one interest or another.

Rally round the Constitution

by Peter Berkowitzvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 20, 2009

What sustains the conservative agenda? What makes it distinctive and coherent? In a word, principle. By Peter Berkowitz.

The Aesthetic Urge

by Peter Berkowitzvia Policy Review
Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Peter Berkowitz on The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution by Denis Dutton

Analysis and Commentary

Waltzing Among the Rockets

by Peter Berkowitzvia Weekly Standard
Monday, February 16, 2009

The cover of the January 15-22 issue of Time Out Tel Aviv--a free weekly rundown of culture, dining, and night life--offers a juxtaposition at once incongruous and in keeping with the nation's mood and the harsh logic of its situation...