Josef Joffe

Distinguished Visiting Fellow

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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Recent Commentary


Black Friday And American Soft Power

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Friday, December 6, 2019

Why do Europeans resent America, even as they continue to copy it? Never mind Donald Trump. The United States is the steamroller of modernity that invents stuff, ideas, and images the world cannot resist.

Analysis and Commentary

Trump’s Misguided Syria Policy

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Friday, October 18, 2019

History will judge Trump as harshly for his betrayal of the Kurds as it has the apostles of “peace in our time.”

Analysis and Commentary

The Religion Of Climatism

by Josef Joffevia Commentary
Thursday, October 17, 2019

Greta Thunberg, the teenager from Stockholm, is the prophet of a new religion sweeping the West. Call it Climatism. Like any religion worthy of the name, it comes with its own catechism (what to believe) and eschatology (how the world will end). Thunberg’s bible is the latest report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which gives us 12 years to save civilization as we know it.

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Continental Drift

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Across Europe, political disruptors are elbowing aside the established parties. The disruptors’ goals, when they can be discerned, are all over the map.

Analysis and Commentary

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Friday, August 16, 2019

Donald Trump is right to push for a rebalanced relationship with both China and Europe. But what have tariffs and threats actually achieved?

Analysis and Commentary

The Ghost Of Weimar Germany Is Only A Ghost

by Josef Joffevia The Wall Street Journal
Sunday, July 21, 2019

A political assassination renews fears, but the far right remains weak, disorganized and isolated.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Iran Will Never Give Up On Nuclear Weapons

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Friday, July 12, 2019

This week, Donald Trump repeated an American mantra: “Iran will never have a nuclear weapon.” But in due time it will, because it can, and because it has long seen the Bomb to be in its national interest. But is there an upside?


Crashing The Parties

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Friday, June 14, 2019

In Europe, the ancien régime of the moderate Right and Left is falling prey to the disruptors—mainly rightwing populists, but also non-threatening environmentalists like the surging German Greens who appeal to the center.

Analysis and Commentary

The Sick Man Of Europe Is Europe

by Josef Joffevia The Wall Street Journal
Monday, May 27, 2019

Two takeaways from Sunday’s European Union elections: First, the centrists—the moderate right and left—were decimated. For the first time since 1979, Christian Democrats and Social Democrats, the reliably pro-European bloc, no longer hold the majority in the 751-member European Parliament. Second, the far right—the Europe bashers and nationalists—scored big, increasing their take to about 170 seats. In Britain, the Brexit Party trounced both Labour and the Tories. In France, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally outpolled President Emmanuel Macron’s party and its allies.


Why It Won’t Happen Here

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are not the harbingers of anti-Semitism, Made in U.S.A. The Jewish-American love affair is neither fleeting nor one-sided. It is rooted in the American creed—since 1654.