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

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Giant Stumbles

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Anger management may be useful for individuals, but for a superpower? Why being slow to wrath isn’t always in the United States’ best interests.


Will The Real MAGA Man Please Stand Up?

by Josef Joffevia American Purpose
Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Back to the “indispensable nation:” Corralling a global coalition against Russian imperialism, Joe Biden is leaving America’s retrenchment phase behind and returning to the best traditions of U.S. diplomacy.

Analysis and Commentary

World War II, Ukraine And The Future Of Conflict

by Josef Joffevia New York Times
Thursday, April 14, 2022

Richard Overy’s prodigious “Blood and Ruins” is a sweeping history of World War II packed with lessons for the future.


Josef Joffe On Between The Lines With Tom Switzer (19:04)

interview with Josef Joffevia
Friday, March 11, 2022
Hoover Institution fellow Josef Joffe talks about how Putin has provoked a radical overhaul of Germany's defense and energy policy, and these changes have come with breathtaking speed. Joffe weighs in on whether this turnabout will last.

Will Germany’s Foreign Policy Turnabout Last?

by Josef Joffevia The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, March 2, 2022

[Subscription Required] The shift is dramatic and important. It’s perilous as well, especially if Putin suppresses Ukraine.



A Noxious Mix: Germany, Gas And Russia

by Josef Joffevia American Purpose
Monday, February 7, 2022

Germany’s strategic dependence on Russia is a mess of its own making.

To Be Jewish in America

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 31, 2022

Anti-Semitism in the United States may appear to be on the rise, but the centuries during which Jews found increasing acceptance suggest that their place in American life remains secure.


Putin's 'Monroyev Doctrine'

by Josef Joffevia Real Clear World
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Russia now has a “Monroyev Doctrine,” courtesy of Vladimir Putin. Like James Monroe’s original of 1823, it can be distilled into two words: “Keep out!”

Analysis and Commentary

America, The Uncertain Giant

by Josef Joffevia American Purpose
Monday, January 3, 2022

Since Barack Obama, the United States has been in retrenchment mode while Russia and China push their pieces forward and reap the rewards. Like nature, the international system abhors a vacuum.


Josef Joffe: What Now For Post-Merkel Germany? And A Bipartisan Approach To China Relations

interview with Josef Joffevia
Friday, October 15, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Josef Joffe discusses Germany's elections which delivered a narrow victory to the left-of-center Social Democrats. Joffe describes this result as 'boring'. He says this coalition is weak and will struggle to deliver any real policies.