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


Why Legal Avenues To Mideast Peace Are Misguided

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Over the summer, Trump administration officials Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority to renew efforts to resolve the conflict over the West Bank—as the international community and the Israeli left refer to the land Israel seized in fending off Jordan’s attack in the Six Day War. 


A Liberal Calls Out His Party For Its Identity Politics

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, August 25, 2017

Following a week of relentless criticism from the mainstream media for ham-handed and vacillating responses to the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, President Trump saw his approval rating rise slightly. It’s as if elites have one agenda, and a significant part of the public another.


Steadfast Defender Of Classical Liberalism

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Monday, August 14, 2017

With the Trump administration careening from controversy to controversy, the denizens of Capitol Hill confirming the people’s low opinion of Congress, and much of elite media validating suspicions that they view themselves not primarily as reliable chroniclers of events but as a valiant political vanguard, it is easy to overlook the ideological pincer movement besieging classical liberalism from left and right. 


Campus Declarations Of War On Free Speech

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, August 4, 2017

The threat to free speech in the United States is by no means restricted to colleges and universities, but they have become breeding grounds, training camps, and launching pads in the campaign to curtail liberty of thought and discussion. It is on our campuses where the battle for free speech will be won or lost.


What Left & Right Missed In Trump's Warsaw Speech

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Monday, July 31, 2017

On July 6, President Trump delivered a speech in Krasiński Square in Warsaw, Poland, that provoked heated controversy in the United States. While Americans have returned their attention to familiar tempests—allegations of unlawful collusion by Trump team members with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton, Republicans’ bungled efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, North Korean belligerency, the White House staff soap opera—the sharply divergent reactions to Trump’s defense of Western civilization exhibit dangers to the West beyond those he warned of in his remarks.


Day by Day, Tales That Define America & Earn Trust

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Saturday, July 15, 2017

An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll released in late June contains bad news for the country. Only 37 percent of Americans trust the Trump administration “a good amount” or “a great deal.” Worse, substantially fewer—30 percent—trust the media a good amount or a great deal. Worse still is that the public’s distrust is justified.

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Speak Up!

by Peter Berkowitzvia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 7, 2017

Colleges and universities honor free inquiry in theory, but not always in fact. How to keep higher education true to its values. 


Bridging The Conservative Divide

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Monday, June 26, 2017

Donald Trump’s ascent to the presidency precipitated a rift of unprecedented proportions in American conservatism. To prevent a permanent split, conservatives must recover an appreciation of the enduring tensions that constitute their movement. Too few conservatives, however, are focusing on conciliation.


Why Mideast Peace Ambitions Must Be Dialed Back

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Saturday, June 17, 2017

President Trump’s administration is reportedly drafting a document outlining principles to guide negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. The laudable aim is to bring their protracted conflict to an end.

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.