Josef Joffe

Research Fellow
Biography: 

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

The impact of the cultural obstacles created by the euro’s implementation  is on
Featured Commentary

Europe’s Headaches Are Just Beginning

by Josef Joffevia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Even if it leaves the euro, Greece will still have access to billions of EU money. That’s a fine precedent to set for Portugal and Spain.

Memo To The “Great Satan”

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 19, 2015

Iran isn’t reasonable—revolutionary states never are. The United States should seek not to appease Iran but to contain it.

Featured Commentary

Snowden’s Dirty Work For Putin

by Josef Joffevia The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Handygate” is another instance of foreigners hijacking what they think is American English and hip. A “handy” is a cellphone in German. Melded with “gate,” it stands for the U.S. National Security Agency’s assault on Germany’s national dignity: hacking into Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile, as trumpeted by defector Edward Snowden from his Moscow hideout in 2013.

Featured CommentaryFeatured Commentary

Europe To The World: “Count Me Out!”

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Tuesday, May 12, 2015

World Order, Henry Kissinger muses in his eponymous book, requires somebody—a state or an institution—to maintain it. He holds up the Westphalian System, put in place after the murderous Thirty Years’ War, as one institutional pillar. As another instance, he cites the Congress of Vienna (1815), which spawned the Quadruple as well as the Holy Alliance.

Podcast: Strategika – “Will the West Still Fight?” With Josef Joffe
Featured Commentary

The Lessons Obama Could Learn From V-E Day

by Josef Joffevia The Wall Street Journal
Sunday, May 10, 2015

If President Obama had a sense of history, he might have thrown, in Washington, a more heartening party, to which V-E Day would serve only as prologue. Pride of place would go to the beginning of the most glorious chapter in American foreign policy, the Pax Americana that has held for 70 years and benefited not only the United States, but also the rest of the world.

The American Way of Satire

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 20, 2015

Why don’t US publications skewer religion the way Charlie Hebdo does? For one thing, most Americans don’t think of religion as a menace.

Global Puzzle Pieces
Featured Commentary

The Unreality Of Obama’s Realpolitik

by Josef Joffevia Wall Stree Journal
Monday, February 2, 2015

With the president unwilling to project U.S. might, Iran and other bad actors rush to exploit the power vacuum.

Euro Zone
Featured Commentary

Germany Will Relent On Greek Debt – And Europe Will Suffer

by Josef Joffevia The Guardian
Monday, January 26, 2015
Alexis Tsipras has inflicted another defeat on Berlin. Merkel is no longer Empress Angela, and the real problems await in France and Italy.
Featured Commentary

Where In America Is Charlie Hebdo?

by Josef Joffevia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

America’s culture and politics is at once more permissive and reserved.

Athens, Greece
Featured Commentary

No Exit For Greece

by Josef Joffevia New York Times
Monday, January 12, 2015

Another Chapter 11 for Greece, the third in five years — and no exit in sight. The Greeks won’t do the eurozone the favor of absconding from the common currency. Never mind that they should never have been accepted in the first place, when they cooked the books to look prim and proper.

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