Josef Joffe

Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Biography: 

Josef Joffe, a distinguished 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 Myth of America's Decline: Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies (Liveright, 2013), Über-Power: The Imperial Temptation in America (W.W. Norton, 2006), The Limited Partnership: Europe, the United States and the Burdens of Alliance (Ballinger Pub Co, 1997) and coauthor of Eroding Empire: Western Relations with Eastern Europe (Brookings Institution Press, 1987). 

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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Germany’s Shift From Wolf To Lamb

by Josef Joffevia The Wall Street Journal
Friday, October 30, 2020

After trouncing mighty France in eight weeks in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, Prussia pounded 25 German principalities and statelets into a new German Reich.

Analysis and Commentary

Trump Demolished Liberals’ Mideast Fallacies – He Had Help From Iran

by Josef Joffevia The Times of Israel
Thursday, October 29, 2020

After the Israel-UAE deal, an entire peace industry should have collapsed. For half a century, it has been churning out a product trademarked “It’s Palestine, stupid!” no matter how the market had changed since the “Three No’s” of Khartoum were flung at Israel in 1967: no peace, no recognition, no negotiation.

Democracy Endures

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 19, 2020

The coronavirus has persuaded democracies around the world to trade individual rights for public health measures, surrendering liberty for safety—or so we keep hearing. Not so, says Josef Joffe. Citizens are not “endlessly docile.”

Analysis and Commentary

Europe’s Futile Search For Franco-German Leadership

by Josef Joffevia The Strategist
Friday, October 16, 2020

For decades, France and Germany have been known as Europe’s ruling ‘tandem’ or ‘couple’, even its ‘engine’. Together, they aimed to work to unify the continent. But, to pile up the metaphors, the French want to drive the jointly leased Euro-Porsche, while the Germans insist on rationing the petrol money. As a long list of crises—from Belarus to Nagorno-Karabakh—now shows, the two countries are not following the same road map.

Analysis and Commentary

Europe’s Futile Search For Franco-German Leadership

by Josef Joffevia Project Syndicate
Thursday, October 15, 2020
For decades, France and Germany have been known as Europe’s ruling “tandem” or “couple,” even its “engine.” Together, they aimed to work to unify the continent. But, to pile up the metaphors, the French want to drive the jointly leased Euro-Porsche, while the Germans insist on rationing the gas money. As a long list of crises – from Belarus to Nagorno-Karabakh – now shows, the two countries are not following the same road map.
Analysis and Commentary

Fareed Zakaria Looks At Life After The Pandemic

by Josef Joffevia The New York Times
Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Oh, no, not a book about the pandemic just a few months into Covid-19. Not another series of snapshots overtaken by tomorrow’s events. Fareed Zakaria, a CNN host with a Ph.D. from Harvard, does not fall into this trap.

Analysis and Commentary

A Peace Prize For Ali Khamenei?

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Trump was the midwife of the Abraham Accords. The father was Ali Khamenei, the “Supreme Leader” of Iran, whose imperial ambitions started to force Arabs and Israelis into a historic realignment decades ago.

Analysis and Commentary

Pipeline Politics Tests Merkel’s Mettle

by Josef Joffevia The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

[Subscription Required] German-American friendship has always stopped where Russian gas began to flow. Even 40 years ago, with the Cold War in full swing and the U.S. protecting West Germany with some 220,000 GIs, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt went mano a mano with Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan over a barter deal for trillions of cubic feet of Soviet gas.

Background EssayAnalysis and Commentary

America—A European Power No More? Shifting Tectonics, Changing Interests, And The Shrinking Size Of U.S. Troops In Europe

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Friday, September 11, 2020

The Trump drawdown of U.S. troops in Europe is not the end of the alliance, but part of a familiar story. America’s military presence has been contested from Week 1—make that February 4–11, 1945. At Yalta, Franklin D. Roosevelt assured Joseph Stalin that the United States would soon depart from Europe. Its troops—three million at the peak—would all be gone in two years.

Analysis and Commentary

The Decline Of The West—New And Improved

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Thursday, August 13, 2020

If you liked the 1930s, you will love the 2020s. Again, it is crisis-overload: COVID, economic catastrophe, the assault on free trade, and the rise of illiberalism on the left and on the right. With the United States abdicating, who will answer the 911 calls?

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