Timothy Garton Ash

Senior Fellow
Research Team: 

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 Free Speech: Ten Principles For A Connected World (2016), and he edited Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-Violent Action from Gandhi to the Present (2009). His previous books include Facts Are Subversive: Political Writing from a Decade without a Name (2010); 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


Free Speech Is About Listening As Well As Talking

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Financial Times
Monday, July 13, 2020

We who warn against ‘no-platforming’ should also heed the concerns of those who do it.

Analysis and Commentary

For A Bitter Taste Of Polish Populism, Just Watch The Evening News

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, June 25, 2020

Poland’s public broadcaster has entered the paranoid realm of the far right. A presidential election shows what is at stake.


The US And China Are Entering A New Cold War. Where Does That Leave The Rest Of Us?

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Saturday, June 20, 2020

Liberal democracies must learn the lessons of the past by thinking long term, applying a strong moral code – and avoiding hubris

Analysis and Commentary

Britain's Pride In Its Past Is Not Matched By Any Vision For Its Future

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, May 21, 2020

There have been times over the last few weeks when it has felt as if we were living through a looped replay of Dad’s Army.

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Timothy Garton Ash: Europe, China And The World After COVID-19 | Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing

interview with Timothy Garton Ashvia Hoover Podcasts
Tuesday, May 19, 2020


Timothy Garton Ash discusses Europe, China And The World After COVID-19.

Timothy Garton Ash: Europe, China and the World after COVID-19

interview with Timothy Garton Ashvia Hoover Virtual Policy Briefings
Tuesday, May 19, 2020

A Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing with Timothy Garton Ash: Europe, China and the World after COVID-19
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 11AM PT/ 2PM ET.


Timothy Garton Ash — Second Wave — War On Leaks

interview with Timothy Garton Ashvia Politico's EU Confidential
Monday, May 18, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Timothy Garton Ash discusses the challenges — and opportunities — facing the European Union as it tries to navigate its way out of the coronavirus crisis.

Analysis and Commentary

Europe Needs To Be A Superpower, Not A Superstate

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Ekathimerini
Monday, May 11, 2020

As a European leader once remarked, Europe should be a superpower, not a superstate. Faced with an increasingly powerful and authoritarian China, global warming, the potentially existential challenge of AI, not to mention an aggressive Russia, chaotic Middle East and Trumpian United States, this argument is more compelling than ever. In a world of giants, you need to be a giant yourself. If we Europeans don’t hang together, we will hang separately.

In the News

Brave New World: Could Pandemic Lead To Positive Change?

cited Timothy Garton Ashvia Bangkok Post
Friday, May 8, 2020

Major social advances have often emerged from the depths of disaster: the Black Death brought an end to serfdom, and Britain's welfare state emerged from the ruins of World War II.

Analysis and Commentary

A Better World Can Emerge After Coronavirus. Or A Much Worse One

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Most Europeans support a universal basic income, yet young people doubt democracy’s capacity to deliver change