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

Analysis and Commentary

A Pipe Dream Comes True

by Josef Joffevia American Purpose
Friday, July 23, 2021

Joe Biden hands Angela Merkel a nice farewell present by caving on Nord Stream 2. The Berlin-Moscow deal is not just about gas and cash. It affirms a tacit strategic relationship that dents the containment of Russian ambitions.


A Not-So-Little War Brings Palestinian Arabs Back To the Middle East Stage

by Josef Joffevia The New York Sun
Thursday, May 13, 2021

On the sympathy scale, it is good to be a Palestinian, but not so good to be a Kurd, Uighur, Tibetan, Copt, Yezidi, Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar, or West-Saharan, whose land has been occupied by Morocco since the Seventies. This is the short list of those who are oppressed or slaughtered, but are hardly worthy of attention.

Return to Europe

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 26, 2021

What do Europeans hope to see in Washington in the next four years? An administration willing to make amends—and face its obligations.


Josef Joffe: Darkening Of The Strategic Skies

interview with Josef Joffevia American Purpose
Friday, April 23, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Josef Joffe talks about a wobbly alliance as well as Chinese, Russian, and Iranian ambitions.

Analysis and Commentary

No Hurry—We’re The EU

by Josef Joffevia American Purpose
Friday, April 16, 2021

Why the EU and Germany have failed to defeat the pandemic.


Being Good Isn't Always Great In Foreign Policy

by Josef Joffevia Real Clear World
Wednesday, April 7, 2021

“Goodness had nothing to do with it,“ Mae West retorts in Night After Night when a hat-check girl gushes: “Goodness, what a beautiful diamond!“ The Biden team should hire someone like her as a consultant as it labors to undo what former President Donald Trump has wrought.

Analysis and Commentary

Sarkozy's Conviction Is Win For Rule Of Law

by Josef Joffevia Project Syndicate
Sunday, March 21, 2021

The harsh sentence handed down to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was found guilty of influence peddling, confirms anew an ancient truth of politics. Even in the world's most firmly entrenched democracies, corruption remains a curse.

Analysis and Commentary

Sarkozy’s Conviction Is A Win For The Rule Of Law

by Josef Joffevia Project Syndicate
Wednesday, March 3, 2021

From France to America, democratic countries are affirming the fundamental principle of government by law, not by men (and women). That is the message of our time that should reassure the Cassandras who believe that despotism is on a roll.

Analysis and Commentary

Germany’s Empty Pipeline Logic

by Josef Joffevia Project Syndicate
Friday, February 19, 2021

Nord Stream 2, the almost-finished pipeline running directly from Russia to Germany, is not really about securing cheap natural gas. It is about personal gain and these two countries’ national interest.

Analysis and Commentary

Idealpolitik Requires Realpolitik

by Josef Joffevia American Purpose
Friday, January 29, 2021

Suddenly Home Alone, the United States should be a “force for good,” but not neglect power in a nasty world. China, Russia, and Iran don’t.