Josef Joffe

Research Fellow

Josef Joffe, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, is publisher/editor of the German weekly Die Zeit.

His areas of interest are US foreign policy, international security policy, European-American relations, Europe and Germany, and the Middle East.

His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, Commentary, New York Times Magazine, New Republic, Weekly Standard, Newsweek, Time, and Prospect (London).

His second career has been in academia. A professor of political science (by courtesy) at Stanford, he is also a senior fellow at Stanford's Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies. In 1990–91, he taught at Harvard, where he remains affiliated with the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies. He was a professorial lecturer at Johns Hopkins (School of Advanced International Studies) in 1982–84. He has also taught at the University of Munich and the Salzburg Seminar.

His scholarly work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, National Interest, International Security, and Foreign Policy. He is the author of The Limited Partnership: Europe, the United States and the Burdens of Alliance and The Future of International Politics: The Great Powers (1998) and coauthor of Eroding Empire: Western Relations with Eastern Europe. His most recent book is Über-Power: The Imperial Temptation in America (W.W. Norton). In 2013, Norton will publish At the Cassandra Crossing: The False Prophecies of American Decline.

Joffe serves on the boards of the American Academy, Berlin; Aspen Institute, Berlin; Leo Baeck Institute, New York; and Ben Gurion University, Israel. He is chairman of the Abraham Geiger College, Berlin.

In 2005, he founded the American Interest (Washington, DC) with Zibigniew Brzezinski, Eliot Cohen, and Francis Fukuyama. He is also a board member at International Security, Harvard University, and Internationale Politik, Berlin.

Among his awards are honorary doctoral degrees from Swarthmore College in 2002 and Lewis and Clark College in 2005; the Theodor Wolff Prize (journalism) and Ludwig Börne Prize (essays/literature), Germany; the Scopus Award of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem; and the Federal Order of Merit, Germany.

Raised in Berlin, he obtained his PhD degree in government from Harvard.

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Recent Commentary

Featured Commentary

Of Spycraft and Statecraft

by Josef Joffevia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Gentlemen don't read each other's mail," expounded Henry Stimson when explaining why he had closed the State Department's code-breaking office in 1929. Gentlemen no longer populate the spy business, and the United States has 16 intelligence outfits rather, than none as in the 1930s, with at least $80 billion in spending-money per year.

US-China Relations
Featured Commentary

U.S. Is No. 1, China Is So Yesterday

by Josef Joffevia Bloomberg View
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
The Myth of America’s Decline: Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies

The Myth of America in Decline

by Josef Joffevia Fellow Talks
Monday, May 5, 2014

Josef Joffe, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, discussed the long tradition of American declinism in his talk entitled “The Myth of America in Decline.” 

The Powers that Will Be

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 21, 2014

China’s rise need not entail America’s fall. How “declinism” distracts us from contemplating a much more complicated future.

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Featured Commentary

Ukraine Crisis Has Pushed Germany to Center Stage

by Josef Joffevia Huffington Post
Friday, March 14, 2014

Berlin could have blocked even such modest retaliation. But it did not. This new tack reflects - what? For one, Germany is no longer threatened by Soviet shock armies ensconced at the gates of Hamburg. Second, the Kremlin's gas weapon - Germany gets ...

Vladimir Putin
Featured Commentary

A Letter From the Prince to Putin

by Josef Joffevia Wall Street Journal Europe
Thursday, March 6, 2014

Niccolò Machiavelli, the father of realpolitik, has sent a message from beyond the grave to Russian President Vladimir Putin following his grab of the Crimea.

Featured Commentary

An Up-and-Sideways German Move Against Europe's Central Bank

by Josef Joffevia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mario Draghi, chief of the European Central Bank, stands accused of usurpation and crimes against national sovereignty. Beyond the legalisms, that is effectively the charge brought against Mr. Draghi's ECB before the German Constitutional Court. But Mr.

Featured Commentary

Good-Bye to Germany’s Angela I, Empress of Europe

by Josef Joffevia Bloomberg View
Sunday, December 1, 2013

If the U.S. is currently ruled by stalemate -- with polarized parties crippling its Founders’ checks and balances -- Germany has too much uniformity and too

Featured Commentary

Swiss Come to Their Senses on Soak-the-Rich Vote

by Josef Joffevia Bloomberg View
Monday, November 25, 2013

Some of my best friends are very rich -- people with condos on Central Park West and tastefully refurbished palazzi in Italy. The puzzle: Why do so many of