Tunku Varadarajan is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution

Tunku Varadarajan

Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Fellow in Journalism

Tunku Varadarajan is the Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and editor of Hoover’s in-house publication Defining Ideas. A writer-at-large at the Daily Beast, he was a former editor of Newsweek and Newsweek International. Previously, he was executive editor (opinions) at Forbes, assistant managing editor and op-ed editor of the Wall Street Journal, and the New York bureau chief for The Times (of London). Born in India, he is a British citizen. A visiting scholar at New York University's Department of Journalism, he is a former lecturer in law at Trinity College, Oxford. He has also taught at NYU's Stern School of Business, the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, and the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. Varadarajan has a BA in law, with honors, from Oxford University.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

V.S. Naipaul’s ‘Universal Civilization’

by Tunku Varadarajanvia The Wall Street Journal
Monday, August 13, 2018

[Subscription Required] V.S. Naipaul, who died Saturday at 85, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature on Oct. 11, 2001, a month after al Qaeda’s attack on the American homeland. As many in the West were still struggling to fathom what drove Islamist fanatics to commit mass murder, it was reassuring to see the Nobel go to Naipaul, who had unapologetically insisted on the universality of Western beliefs.

Analysis and Commentary

The Enemy Of The T-Shirt

by Tunku Varadarajanvia The Wall Street Journal
Monday, August 6, 2018

It took less than 24 hours for the Newseum, a Washington-based museum of news and free speech, to capitulate. Its crime, according to finger-wagging journalists? Lending support to Donald Trump in a tawdry quest for dollars.

Analysis and Commentary

A Toxic Turkish Photo-Op

by Tunku Varadarajanvia The Wall Street Journal
Sunday, July 29, 2018

[Subscription Required] Here’s the moral of this short story: If you’re a Turkish-German soccer star, don’t pose for photographs with the autocrat who governs the country of your forebears. No good can come of it.

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Why Putin Lashes Out

by Tunku Varadarajan interview with Stephen Kotkinvia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 9, 2018

Vladimir Putin is no Josef Stalin, says Hoover fellow Stephen Kotkin, but his regime’s weakness poses its own kind of danger.


If America Is Divided, So Is Europe

by Tunku Varadarajanvia The Wall Street Journal
Friday, July 6, 2018

A Polish philosopher-politician on NATO’s future, ‘degenerate’ liberalism, and what it’s like to be a ‘dissident’ nation in the EU.

Analysis and Commentary

‘The Billionaire Raj’ Review: Gatsby On The Ganges

by Tunku Varadarajanvia The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, July 4, 2018

There have been scores of books about India that focus on its poverty, some sensitive and soulful, others frankly execrable. In contrast, very few offer a portrait of Indians with wealth. This expository lopsidedness is particularly grating in the present time, when India’s economy has galloped to seventh place in the global rankings, breathing down the creaky necks of France and Britain (precariously perched at sixth and fifth, respectively).

Analysis and Commentary

War Brought Cricket To Afghanistan

by Tunku Varadarajanvia The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

After the Soviet invasion, the sport caught on among refugees in Pakistan.


Why Trump’s Protectionism Is Futile

by Tunku Varadarajanvia The Wall Street Journal
Friday, June 1, 2018

[Subscription Required] The president is wrong to attribute industrial decline to foreign competition, and the rising dollar is likely to cause the trade deficit to rise.

Analysis and Commentary

A Conservative Economics Of Dignity

by Tunku Varadarajanvia The Wall Street Journal
Friday, May 18, 2018

[Subscription Required] The dean of Columbia Business School is a tax cutter and free trader, but he says economists must address ‘real economic concerns in the heartland.’

Analysis and Commentary

‘The Duchess’ Review: How To Survive A Royal Romance

by Tunku Varadarajanvia The Wall Street Journal
Thursday, May 17, 2018

[Subscription Required] Start with a three-part quiz: Which British royal was sent to a hellish boarding school in Scotland, with instructions from his father to the headmaster that the boy’s life be made as tough as possible? Which royal hurled herself down a flight of stairs (in the early stages of pregnancy) in a bid to capture her husband’s attention? Which had a great-grandmother who was a long-term mistress of her present husband’s great-great-grandfather?