Timothy Garton Ash

Senior Fellow

Timothy Garton Ash, an internationally acclaimed contemporary historian whose work has focused on Europe’s history since 1945, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Garton Ash is in residence at Hoover on a part-time basis; he continues his work as professor of European studies and the Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St. Antony's College, Oxford University.

Among the topics he has covered are the liberation of Central Europe from communism, Germany before and after its reunification, how countries deal with a difficult past, and the European Union’s relationships with partners including the United States and rising non-Western powers such as China. His current research focuses on global free speech in the age of the Internet and mass migration (see the 13-language interactive Oxford University project www.freespeechdebate.com).

His most recent book is Facts Are Subversive: Political Writing from a Decade without a Name (2010), and he edited Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-Violent Action from Gandhi to the Present (2009). His previous books include Free World: America, Europe and the Surprising Future of the West (2004); The File: A Personal History (1998); In Europe's Name: Germany and the Divided Continent (1993); The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of 1989 as Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague (1990); The Polish Revolution: Solidarity, 1980–82 (1983); and Und Willst Du Nicht Mein Brüder Sein.

Garton Ash is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Historical Society, and the Royal Society of Arts and has received numerous honors and awards, including the Somerset Maugham Award, the George Orwell Prize, the Order of Merit from Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic, and honorary doctorates from St. Andrew's University and the Catholic University of Leuven.

He writes a regular column in the Guardian, which is widely syndicated in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. He is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books.

Garton Ash, who holds a BA and MA in modern history from the University of Oxford, did graduate studies at St. Antony's College, Oxford, at the Free University in West Berlin, and at Humboldt University in East Berlin.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Britain Is In A Hole – Europe, We Need You To Dig Us Out

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Brexit just got serious. If parliament can somehow take control, EU leaders must take pity and offer a long delay.


Timothy Garton Ash On Brexit, European Elections And Italy

interview with Timothy Garton Ashvia Italics Magazine
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Timothy Garton Ash discusses Brexit, the European Elections, and Italy.


Timothy Garton Ash: Facebook, Free Speech, And Democracy

interview with Timothy Garton Ashvia University of Oxford
Friday, March 1, 2019
Hoover Institution fellow Timothy Garton Ash takes part in a panel discussion concerning nine ways Facebook can make itself a better forum for free speech and democracy.
Analysis and Commentary

The EU Must Resist Impatience With Britain – For Its Own Sake

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Guardian
Friday, February 22, 2019

I can understand why many in Brussels are growing frustrated, but they may repent at leisure what they decide in haste.

In the News

Does Technology Favor Tyranny?

quoting Timothy Garton Ash, Michael R. Auslin, Larry Diamond, Niall Fergusonvia Foreign Affairs
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

We at Foreign Affairs have recently published a number of pieces dealing with technology and authoritarianism. To complement these articles, we decided to ask a broad pool of experts for their take.

In the News

"Who Will Pick Up The Pieces" – MSC Kick-Off 2019 In Berlin

quoting Timothy Garton Ashvia Munich Security Conference
Monday, February 11, 2019

"Who will pick up the pieces of the disintegrating world order?" This is the overarching question of the Munich Security Report 2019, which Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), presented at this year’s MSC Kick-off event on 11 February at the Bavarian State Representation in Berlin with over 300 guests. On this occasion, Timothy Garton Ash, Professor for European Studies in Oxford, and Sabine Weyand, Deputy Chief Brexit Negotiator of the EU, discussed the possible consequences of an exit of the United Kingdom from the EU in the context of a disintegrating world order.

In the News

Kick-Off Berlin 2019

mentioning Timothy Garton Ashvia Munich Security Conference
Monday, February 11, 2019

Wolfgang Ischinger (Ambassador, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference), Timothy Garton Ash (Professor of European Studies, Oxford University), and Sabine Weyand (Deputy Chief Negotiator, Task Force for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom under Article 50, European Commission).


If Brexit Britain Wants Europe To Listen, It Must Learn To Speak European

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Friday, January 25, 2019

An old New Yorker cartoon shows a middle-aged man at a drinks party saying to another: “But that’s enough about you, let’s talk about me!” This is Brexit Britain talking to the rest of Europe. To be sure, all nations are obsessed with their own affairs.

Analysis and Commentary

The West Needs Its Own Perestroika Moment

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Financial Times
Tuesday, January 22, 2019

[Subscription Required] Thirty years ago, I was pacing the hope-filled streets of central Europe, witnessing how a Soviet reform policy called perestroika was kick-starting the velvet revolutions of 1989.


GLASNOST! Nine Ways Facebook Can Make Itself A Better Forum For Free Speech And Democracy

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Reuters Institute
Friday, January 18, 2019

A platform with more than 2.2 billion users, Facebook has found itself at the epicentre of many of the ongoing conversations about digital media, technology policy, and democracy. Following multiple controversies in the past two years, Facebook is seeking to implement much needed processes for self-regulation and governance to help regain the trust of the public, politicians, and regulatory authorities.