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


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.


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.

Analysis and Commentary

Duke Erodes Liberal Education

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Saturday, June 2, 2018

On May 8, the Duke University student newspaper published a stirring letter addressed to the school community that was co-signed by 101 students and former students. The letter protested the decision of the university’s Sanford School of Public Policy to decline to renew the contract of Evan Charney, associate professor of the practice of public policy and political science, and called on the provost to reverse the decision.


Can Trump's Populist-Conservative Coalition Hold?

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Saturday, May 19, 2018

Conservatives—indeed, all Americans—should take heart: The constitutional order is showing its resilience. Whether because of or despite President Trump’s numerous executive orders reducing the regulatory burden on business and the tax reform he signed into law in December, the economy is humming. Unemployment, including for blacks and Latinos, is at or near record lows.


An Israeli's Overture To His Palestinian Neighbors

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, May 11, 2018

Last month, dueling guest opinion pieces marking the 70th anniversary of Israel’s birth (according to the Hebrew calendar) appeared in the United States’ two most influential newspapers. The opposing spirits in which the articles were written reflect a recurring asymmetry in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


The Tangled Web Comey Weaves

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Thursday, April 26, 2018

“I explained that he could count on me to always tell him the truth. I said I don’t do sneaky things, I don’t leak, I don’t do weasel moves.” So said then-FBI Director James Comey, according to his own memo, to a recently inaugurated President Donald Trump on Jan. 27, 2017, at a private White House dinner.


Liberal Education And Liberal Democracy

by Peter Berkowitzvia The Weekly Standard
Monday, April 23, 2018

Colleges foster smugness on the left and resentment on the right.

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Fifty Shades of Red

by Peter Berkowitzvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 20, 2018

Conservatives have always had their differences. Uniting them in this fractious age means reconciling two things: freedom and tradition.


10 Questions That ABC Didn't Ask Comey

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Monday, April 16, 2018

On Sunday evening, ABC preempted its regularly scheduled programming to broadcast an exclusive interview conducted by “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos with former FBI Director James Comey. The star treatment is part of an all-out publicity campaign that Comey, fired by President Trump less than one year ago, has launched to promote his new book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.”