Peter Berkowitz

Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow

Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. At Hoover, he chairs the Jean Perkins Task Force on National Security and Law and cochaired the Boyd and Jill Smith Task Force on Virtues of a Free Society.

He studies and writes about, among other things, constitutional government, conservatism and progressivism in the United States, liberal education, national security and law, and Middle East politics. He is the author of Constitutional Conservatism: Liberty, Self-Government, and Political Moderation (Hoover Institution Press, 2013), Israel and the Struggle over the International Laws of War (Hoover Institution Press, 2012), Virtue and the Making of Modern Liberalism (Princeton University Press, 1999) and Nietzsche: The Ethics of an Immoralist (Harvard University Press, 1995).

He is the editor of The Future of American Intelligence (2005), Terrorism, the Laws of War, and the Constitution: Debating the Enemy Combatant Cases (2005), the companion volumes Varieties of Conservatism in America (2004) and Varieties of Progressivism in America (2004), and and Never a Matter of Indifference: Sustaining Virtue in a Free Republic (2003), all from the Hoover Institution Press. In 2004, with coeditor Tod Lindberg, he launched Hoover Studies in Politics, Economics, and Society, a series of concise works on leading issues and controversies.

He has written hundreds of essays, articles, and reviews on many subjects for a variety of publications, including the American Political Science Review, the Atlantic, the Boston Globe, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Claremont Review of Books, Commentary, Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, the London Review of Books, National Review, the New Republic, the New York Post, the New York Sun, PJ Media, Policy Review, the Public Interest, Real Clear Politics, the Times Literary Supplement, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Weekly Standard, the Wilson Quarterly, and the Yale Law Journal.

He holds a JD and a PhD in political science from Yale University; an MA in philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and a BA in English literature from Swarthmore College.

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Recent Commentary


Require Western Civ Courses -- And End College Dark Ages

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

This week The Stanford Review—an independent undergraduate political magazine that seeks “to promote debate about campus and national issues that are otherwise not represented by traditional publications”—issued a bold manifesto aimed at advancing liberal education on campus and nationally. 


Why Israeli Rule Of Golan Is Lawful -- And Wise

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, February 19, 2016

In exercising its right of self-defense in the Six Day War, Israel seized from Syria the Golan Heights, a strategically important plateau that looms over northeastern Israel, rising sharply from the eastern bank of the Sea of Galilee to a height of more than 3,000 feet. Since June 1967 a powerful consensus has prevailed in the international community, including the United States, that the Golan is occupied territory.


The Tradition Of Liberal Education Is Under Assault

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Education
Thursday, February 11, 2016

Conservatives have been at the forefront of the battle to defend liberal education against the politicization of the college curriculum, the promulgation of campus speech codes, and the denigration of due process—supported by the Obama administration’s Department of Education April 2011 Dear Colleague letter which advised colleges and universities to circumscribe the rights of the accused—in academic disciplinary procedures.


Why Colleges' Common Reading Lists Get An F

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A core curriculum is to a liberal education what the study of contracts, torts, civil procedure and constitutional law is to a legal education and what the rudiments of shooting and passing are to basketball—an essential prerequisite to excellence in the larger undertaking. 


Cruz, Trump And The Caricature Of Conservatism

by Peter Berkowitzquoting Chester E. Finn Jr.via Real Clear Politics
Sunday, February 7, 2016

The angry and uncompromising tone adopted by Ted Cruz in Iowa and in the aftermath of his victory there has reinforced the perception of right-wing callousness. So, too, has the vulgar rhetoric of Donald Trump, who has topped Republican national polls for months.

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And Now, the Fallout

by Peter Berkowitzvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Regardless of what Iran gets out of the nuclear deal, its proxy Hezbollah clearly gains—and Israel clearly loses.

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The Tyranny of Secular Faith

by Peter Berkowitzvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Progressivism marches relentlessly toward its destination: the one true secular kingdom.


American Exceptionalism And The 2016 Campaign

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, January 22, 2016

Contrasting positions on American exceptionalism go to the heart of what distinguishes the 2016 Republican presidential field from its Democratic counterpart.


What E.J. Dionne Doesn't Get About Conservatism

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, January 15, 2016

As the Republican presidential candidates head into the home stretch of the primary-season-opening Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1, few conservatives are content with the condition of conservatism.

Analysis and Commentary

'Anti-Education: On the Future of Our Educational Institutions'

by Peter Berkowitzvia Commonweal
Thursday, January 14, 2016

The amazing success of higher education in America obscures the crisis of higher education in America. According to the U.S. News and World Report 2016 rankings, the United States is home to eight of the top ten universities in the world and to a little more than half of the world’s top hundred universities.