Josef Joffe

Visiting Fellow
Biography: 

Josef Joffe, a visiting 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

Analysis and Commentary

The First Totalitarian

by Josef Joffementioning Robert Servicevia The New York Times
Thursday, October 19, 2017

Can first-rate history read like a thriller? With “Lenin: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror,” the journalist Victor Sebestyen has pulled off this rarest of feats — down to the last of its 569 pages. How did he do it? Start with a Russian version of “House of Cards” and behold Vladimir Ilyich Lenin pre-empt Frank Underwood’s cynicism and murderous ambition by 100 years. 

Featured

The Relentless Decline Of Social Democracy In The West

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Thursday, October 5, 2017

Throughout Europe and the United States, the moderate Left has increasingly become a victim of its own past success.

Analysis and Commentary

The Right Is Rising And Social Democracy Is Dying Across Europe – But Why?

by Josef Joffevia The Guardian
Friday, September 29, 2017

The electoral success of the far-right AfD has brought Germany into line with most other European countries, so what’s behind this troubling trend?

Background EssayAnalysis and Commentary

Of Allies And Adversaries: Donald Trump’s Principled Realism

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Foreign policy doctrines are as American as apple pie, and as old as the Republic. Start with George Washington’s Farewell Address: The “great rule” in dealing with other nations was to extend “our commercial relations” and “to have with them as little political connection as possible.” So stay out of Europe, and keep Europe away from us.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Germany Skips To A Happier Beat

by Josef Joffevia Financial Times
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Angela Merkel embodies a nation that has had enough of political thrills.

Featured

Germany’s Boring Election Is Nothing To Snore At

by Josef Joffevia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, September 7, 2017

A bland and predictable campaign should be admired in the midst of a chaotic Continent.

Analysis and Commentary

Brexit Britain Has Displaced Germany As The Land Of Dreamers

by Josef Joffevia Financial Times
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The UK was viewed as the home of liberty and rationality – but now it’s goodbye.

Analysis and Commentary

Chaos City

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summit spectaculars, riot hipsters, and the terror tactics of protest.

Featured

Europe’s Struggle To Take Its Destiny Into Its Own Hands

by Josef Joffevia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Continent that doesn’t spend on defense and thinks ‘peace’ is a form of power still needs America.

Analysis and Commentary

The Pear Who Ate Germany

by Josef Joffevia Foreign Policy
Sunday, June 18, 2017

[Registration Required] Helmut Kohl was an unlikely political heavyweight, but his relentless drive helped put East and West back together.

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