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 Limited Partnership: Europe, the United States and the Burdens of Alliance and The Future of International Politics: The Great Powers (1998) and coauthor of Eroding Empire: Western Relations with Eastern Europe. His most recent book is Über-Power: The Imperial Temptation in America (W.W. Norton). In 2013, Norton will publish At the Cassandra Crossing: The False Prophecies of American Decline.

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

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.

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Europe Does Not Exist

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Brexit is just one vivid symptom of the Continent’s failure to produce a true union.

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Fake Newsies

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

This just in: journalists are people, too—sometimes very dishonest people. The story of a German journalist who told his readers a pack of lies about the United States.

Analysis and Commentary

Start Planning NATO’s 100th Birthday

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Friday, April 5, 2019

Alliances die when they win. So NATO should have gone the way of all flesh when the Soviet Union committed suicide in 1991. Yet it has not only endured, but also expanded. And based on enduring interest, the Alliance will survive Donald Trump, too.

In the News

‘The Lessons Of Tragedy’ Review: The Burdens Of Being A Superpower

quoting Josef Joffevia The Wall Street Journal
Friday, March 29, 2019

[Subscription Required] The United States has enjoyed an unprecedented period of prosperity and peace in the past seven decades. A principal reason for this, scholars Hal Brands and Charles Edel argue in their brilliant new book, is that following World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, American leaders and the public shared a tragic sensibility that shaped the postwar foreign-policy consensus.

Analysis and Commentary

Emmanuel Macron: The Man Who Would Be King Of Europe

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Monday, March 18, 2019

Emmanuel Macron and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer represent two competing visions for Europe: one top-down and protectionist, the other diffuse and decentralized.