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

Vilifying Israel, Corrupting The University

by Peter Berkowitz quoting Russell A. Bermanvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, April 13, 2018

Partisanship plagues the humanities. The proliferation of intensely politicized scholarship denouncing Israel as a criminal state exemplifies the conflation of activism with systematic inquiry and analysis. That conflation subverts the dedication to truth indispensable to the university’s mission.

Analysis and Commentary

Colleges' Central Mission Erodes -- And Free Speech With It

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Saturday, April 7, 2018

Only apologists determined to avert their eyes and cover their ears could deny with a straight face that higher education in America today nurses hostility to free speech.


Achieve More For Israel And Palestinians By Seeking Less

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Thursday, March 22, 2018

Despite no shortage of foreign policy challenges, President Trump appears intent — like the last three occupants of the Oval Office — on mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His administration has proceeded with laudable circumspection, insisting that the aim is not to impose a settlement but to assist the sides in reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement. By seeking still less than that, Trump may be able to achieve much more than his predecessors.

Analysis and Commentary

How To Confront A Crisis Of Cultural Confidence

by Peter Berkowitzvia Mosaic Magazine
Thursday, March 15, 2018

In his new book, Leon Kass shows Americans how to honor the benefits of liberal democracy, including individual freedom and human equality, while recognizing their high costs.


The Untold Story Of Israeli Innovation

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Even beyond its extraordinary success in launching high-tech companies chronicled nine years ago in the best-selling “Start-up Nation,” Israel is an innovation capital of the world. But the inspiring story of its inventors and entrepreneurs and their discoveries, devices, and services that have benefited the Jewish state and people around the globe has not been fully told. 


The Scalia Lecture: “Liberal Education, Law, And Liberal Democracy”

by Peter Berkowitzvia Harvard Law
Friday, February 9, 2018

Hoover Institution fellow Peter Berkowitz discusses liberal education, law, and democracy.


A Summons to Save Democracy

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Saturday, January 20, 2018

A sense of impending doom is in the air. The left’s best and brightest proclaim that President Trump is racist, mentally ill, lawless, and should be removed from office at the first opportunity. Many in the rank-and-file right believe that the media elites, entrenched government bureaucrats, and political establishments of both parties -- whom they elected Trump to rein in -- are demonstrating their determination to overturn the 2016 presidential election.

Analysis and Commentary

Bridging Conservative Divides

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Thursday, January 4, 2018

Donald Trump’s disruptive presidency has exacerbated a long-festering intra-conservative controversy about American conservatism’s core principles and purposes. So big and diffuse has the conservative world become since the 1960s -- when William F. Buckley’s National Review set the agenda -- that thoughtful right-wingers themselves doubt that anything so discrete and organized as a movement exists today. They suspect, moreover, that the ambition to revive one represents a distracting exercise in nostalgia.


Exploring The Bonds Of Judaism And Conservatism

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, December 8, 2017

Last Sunday, in New York City, the Jewish Leadership Conference held its “Inaugural Conference on Jews and Conservatism.” The one-day event attracted some 400 participants from around the country and from Canada, Mexico, and Israel.


A Plan To Start Disentangling Israel And The Palestinians

by Peter Berkowitzvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Comprehensive solutions to the conflict are probably out of reach. Incremental improvements aren’t.