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

The Rumpelstiltskin Syndrome

by Josef Joffe
Thursday, June 4, 2020

As the world teeters, Trump affronts allies when he needs them most and pampers foes who welcome America’s absence.

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How Merkel Caved To Macron

by Josef Joffevia Politico
Monday, May 25, 2020

Once the uncrowned empress of Europe, Angela Merkel has finally caved to France’s Emmanuel Macron.


Josef Joffe: Political Economy

interview with Josef Joffevia F15 ́ I by Forbes DACH
Thursday, May 14, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Josef Joffe talks about the economic recession and political leadership in Europe, the US elections, and how the media will change in the future.

Analysis and Commentary

The German Left’s New Nuclear Freak-Out

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Monday, May 11, 2020

After 50 years, the Social Democrats want to sabotage Berlin’s role in NATO’s nuclear deterrent force by invoking wild-eyed Donald Trump. But who wants to part with America’s strategic umbrella?

Analysis and Commentary

The Coronavirus Isn’t Killing Democracy

by Josef Joffevia Tablet Magazine
Monday, May 11, 2020

Authoritarianism is not a symptom of COVID-19.


Josef Joffe: Germany’s Investment In Health Pays Off

interview with Josef Joffevia France 24
Monday, April 20, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Josef Joffe discusses why Germany’s rate of COVID-19 death and infection are so small compared to its neighbors. Joffe says Germany is in the top three countries for expenditure on health, and has a surplus of hospital beds, intensive care units, and ventilators.

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The Cult of Climatism

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 20, 2020

The religion of global warming preaches doom and punishment, even as its own high priests hedge their bets. Meanwhile, its fearful, furious dogmas make a cooperative response to climate change all but impossible.

Analysis and Commentary

The Totalitarian Temptation Resisted

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Friday, April 17, 2020
"Corona as threat to democracy 2020” triggers countless entries on Google. In the Anglo-American world, the opinion sections run over with pieces like “The Virus Comes for Democracy,“ or “Can the Democracies Survive the Coronavirus?” Paul Krugman, the oracle of the New York Times, reveals to a shuddering audience: “Authoritarianism may be just around the corner.”

‘How To Make Love To A Despot’ Review: Safe—But Not For Democracy

by Josef Joffe featuring Stephen D. Krasnervia The Wall Street Journal
Monday, April 13, 2020

If the U.S. can’t transform villains into angels, it can at least encourage smaller potentates to align their interests with the West.

Analysis and Commentary

Freeing The Captives

by Josef Joffevia Commentary Magazine
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Review of 'Genius and Anxiety' by Norman Lebrecht.