Ken Jowitt

Senior Fellow

Ken Jowitt is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Robson Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Jowitt specializes in the study of comparative politics, American foreign policy, and postcommunist countries. He is particularly interested in studying anti-Western ideologies and movements.

Jowitt received his bachelor's degree from Columbia College in 1962 and his master's degree and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1963 and 1970, respectively. The University of California Press published his doctoral thesis, Revolutionary Breakthroughs and National Development: The Case of Romania, in 1971. Jowitt taught at the University of California, Berkeley, for thirty-five years. In 1983 he won the University Distinguished Teaching Award and was dean of undergraduate studies from 1983 to 1986. In 1995, the year he was named Robson Professor of Political Science, he also received the Distinguished Teaching Award for the Division of Social Sciences.

Among his major publications is The New World Disorder: The Leninist Extinction (University of California Press, 1992). He has also written "Really Imaginary Socialism" (East European Constitutional Review, spring/summer 1997), "In Praise of the Ordinary: An Essay on Democracy," in Adam Michnik's Letters from Freedom (University of California Press, 1998), "Russia Disconnected" (Irish Slavonic Studies, 1998), "Challenging the Correct Line" (East European Politics and Society, fall 1998), and "Ethnicity: Nice, Nasty, Nihilistic," in Ethnopolitical Warfare: Causes, Consequences, and Possible Solutions, ed. Daniel Chirot and Martin E. P. Seligman (American Psychological Association, 2001).

In 1997 he delivered the presidential address at Whitman College and in 1998 delivered the Princeton Lectures and was the Jean Monnet Visiting Scholar at the European University in Florence. Most recently he delivered the Gay Hart Gaines Lectures on George Washington at Mount Vernon. Jowitt has spoken at the Commonwealth Club, the World Presidents’ Organization, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and numerous other professional and business organizations.

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Recent Commentary

Featured CommentaryAnalysis and Commentary

A Refashioned NATO

by Ken Jowittvia Strategika
Tuesday, May 12, 2015

NATO’s character and mission were clearly delineated at its inception. Its mission was to countervail Soviet military power, specifically an attack on Western Europe. The fixed focus was the Fulda Gap.

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Unexceptional America

by Ken Jowittvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, March 24, 2011

Well that’s what the president thinks…

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Separation Anxiety

by Ken Jowittvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 9, 2009

Russia today is neither autocratic nor democratic, communist nor Western. What is it? In a word: Putin. By Ken Jowitt.

Lenin Leading a Revolutionary Worker

Setting History’s Course

by Ken Jowittvia Policy Review
Thursday, October 1, 2009

Nations, identities, and influence

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Why the Bush Doctrine Makes Sense

by Ken Jowittvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 30, 2003

How the Bush administration has adapted to a post–Cold War and post–September 11 world. By Hoover fellow Ken Jowitt.

The globe in slices

Rage, Hubris, and Regime Change

by Ken Jowittvia Policy Review
Tuesday, April 1, 2003

The urge to speed History along

Communism, Democracy, and Golf

by Ken Jowittvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, January 30, 2001

How should we deal with the reality of a United States that a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall is the world’s ideological reference, economic innovator, and only global superpower? Hoover fellow Ken Jowitt offers some suggestions.

Toward a New Foreign Policy

by Ken Jowittvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 30, 1999

The Cold War world was dangerous and hostile but also predictable and tidy. Today’s world is likewise dangerous and hostile—but less predictable and far, far less tidy. Hoover fellow Ken Jowitt offers a new foreign policy for our uncertain times.