Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. In 2019-2021, he served as the Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, executive secretary of the department's Commission on Unalienable Rights, and senior adviser to the...
Admirers and critics have two diametrically opposed views of President George W. Bush. The admirers see a compassionate conservative at home and defender of the nation against terrorism and rogue states abroad. Critics see a radical conservative at home who led the nation into a destructive and unnecessary war abroad. Why do conservatives and liberals so often seem to be describing two different men when discussing President George W. Bush? Is it possible to find any common ground on which view of President Bush is closer to the truth?
In 1978, the Polish cardinal Karol Wojtyla was elected to the papacy of the Catholic Church, taking the name John Paul II. In the twenty-four years since, Pope John Paul II has traveled more widely and held audiences for more people than any other pope in history. But beyond his long service and high profile, how will John Paul II be remembered? Will he be remembered more for his political impact—many say that he played a crucial role in the fall of communism in Eastern Europe—or for his ecclesiastical work? Just how well has John Paul II prepared the Catholic Church for the twenty-first century?
The Crusades happened almost a thousand years ago—why do they still provoke an argument? Osama bin Laden has used them to attempt to rally the Islamic world to his cause; President Bush has called the war on terrorism a "crusade." But what is the truth about the Crusades? Were they motivated by savage greed and intolerance or by pious idealism? Were they an unprovoked attack by the West on the Islamic world or a reaction to centuries of Islamic incursions? How should we understand the legacy of the Crusades today, in a time of conflict between the West and radical Islamic terrorists?
The spread of democracy around the world was one of the most significant developments of the twentieth century. At the beginning of the last century, democracy was limited to a handful of Western nations, while today perhaps 120 nations have some form of democratic government. Yet among Muslim countries, democracy is rare, and among Arab states, essentially nonexistent. Why? Is the Islamic faith compatible with the essential features of a democratic society—separation of church and state, freedom of expression, and women's rights, to name a few—or not? Just what is the future of democracy in the Arab world?
For nearly a thousand years after the death of the prophet Muhammad, the Islamic world was powerful, creative, and self-confident. In science, in trade, and in the arts, Muslim civilization rivaled and often surpassed the best achievements of the European world. But beginning sometime around the seventeenth century, Islamic power and dynamism began to wane, to be eclipsed by the West. Today, by nearly every measure of social and economic development, Islamic nations fall far short of Western nations. Why? Did the historical rise and decline of Islam result from processes internal to the Muslim world or from its interaction with the West? What can and should be done to revive Islamic civilization?
The causes, the players, and the likely consequences of the Arab eruptions. A conversation with Hoover fellows Peter Berkowitz, Victor Davis Hanson, and Peter Robinson.
Peter Berkowitz on Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said's Orientalism by Ibn Warraq
Richard Epstein, the Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, discusses the rule of law and how it applies to alleged Boston bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev.
Buchanan describes the Holocaust as a consequence of WWII; without that war, it may not have occurred...
Peter Berkowitz on Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew who Gave us Modernity by Rebecca Goldstein.
Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism.
Dr. Stephen Meyer directs the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. He returns to Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson to discuss his newest book, Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe.
A new batch of books by Laurence Rees, Peter Hayes and David Cesarani tries to crack the puzzle: Why the Jews? And why the Germans? Josef Joffe reviews.
A new look at secularization.
Has increased immigration to EU member nations created distrust and delusion, contributing to a continent in the grip of a culture in the midst of its own suicide?
In his new book, The Decadent Society, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat presents a theory: “Western society stopped advancing in the second half of the 20th century."
Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism.
Why the long communist experiment in the former USSR still matters today
Pope Benedict’s Critique of Islam
What does the president’s taste for the theologian foretell?