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 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

Analysis and Commentary

Britain Could Lead The Fightback Against Nationalist Populism

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Parliament has stopped the Brexit bullies in their tracks. And pro-Europeans can win the democratic showdown

Analysis and Commentary

The Fightback For Liberal Britain Begins Here. Jo Swinson Can Lead It

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Monday, July 22, 2019

Brexit gives the new Lib Dem leader a unique opportunity. She must now channel the best of her party’s traditions and make new alliances.


Europe Must Stop This Disgrace: Viktor Orbán Is Dismantling Democracy

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, June 20, 2019

When European Union leaders gather in Brussels on Thursday they will have a guilty secret: among them will sit the leader of a member state that is no longer a democracy. Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s prime minister and de facto supreme leader, will sit there smiling as a democrat among democrats, but in reality he has demolished liberal democracy in his country over the last decade. Adding insult to injury, he has used EU taxpayers’ money to consolidate his illiberal regime. 


1989 'Gave Us The Best Europe,' Says Historian Timothy Garton Ash

interview with Timothy Garton Ashvia Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty
Sunday, June 16, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Timothy Garton Ash discusses the current situation in Europe and says "1989 was the best year in European history so far. A peaceful revolution which ended a nuclear-armed, post-totalitarian empire, and gave us the best Europe we've ever had." But, Garton Ash concedes that the economic liberalism that accompanied the collapse of the Soviet-led totalitarian system ushered in economic inequality.


Timothy Garton Ash: Europe Without Borders

interview with Timothy Garton Ashvia HKU e-learning
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Timothy Garton Ash talks about the dilemmas confronting the European Union, as well as Europe without borders.


Why We Must Not Let Europe Break Apart

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, May 9, 2019

It’s time to sound the alarm. Seven decades after the end of the second world war on European soil, the Europe we have built since then is under attack. As the cathedral of Notre Dame burned, Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National was polling neck and neck with Emmanuel Macron’s movement for what he calls a “European renaissance”.

Analysis and Commentary

Britain Will Have Its Second Referendum – At The EU Elections On 23 May

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, April 18, 2019

This is a crucial chance to show politicians how we feel now about leaving Europe. The turnout must be huge.


Historian Timothy Garton Ash: Brexit May Be Worse For EU Than UK

interview with Timothy Garton Ashvia DW
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Timothy Garton Ash argues for a long Brexit extension or a soft Brexit, saying a no-deal Brexit could poison relations between the EU and the UK for decades and would be a boon for Europe's populist movements.

Analysis and Commentary

Brexit Is Just One Front In Europe’s Battle For Its Soul

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Whether it’s taking on Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Germany’s AfD or Italy’s Matteo Salvini, this is one and the same struggle.

In the News

Trudeau Violated Federal Law With Caucus Expulsions, Philpott Says; The Latest Brexit Developments

quoting Timothy Garton Ashvia The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Former Treasury Board president Jane Philpott says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated federal law when he expelled her and former Veterans Affairs minister Jody Wilson-Raybould from caucus without a secret-ballot vote.