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

Book Review: The End Of Tsarist Russia By Dominic Lieven

by Josef Joffevia Gulf News (Dubai)
Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A scholar approaches the First World War from the standpoint of Russian foreign policy.


Germany Is Allergic To Power

by Josef Joffevia Prospect Magazine (UK)
Thursday, September 17, 2015

Germany looks strong only because other European countries are so weak.


Germany’s Welcoming Miracle

by Josef Joffevia The Wall Street Journal
Thursday, September 10, 2015

Two decades after its last refugee crisis, the country’s attitude toward foreign migrants is surprisingly positive—for now.


‘The End Of Tsarist Russia,’ By Dominic Lieven

by Josef Joffevia The New York Times
Wednesday, August 26, 2015

World War I was the greatest empire slayer of all time. Down went the Ottoman Empire, ruling from Bosnia to Basra.

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Analysis and Commentary

Chronicler Of Evil

by Josef Joffe featuring Robert Conquestvia Politico
Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A tribute to Robert Conquest, who first told the truth about Stalin.

The impact of the cultural obstacles created by the euro’s implementation  is on
Analysis and Commentary

Europe’s Headaches Are Just Beginning

by Josef Joffevia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Even if it leaves the euro, Greece will still have access to billions of EU money. That’s a fine precedent to set for Portugal and Spain.

Memo To The “Great Satan”

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 19, 2015

Iran isn’t reasonable—revolutionary states never are. The United States should seek not to appease Iran but to contain it.

Analysis and Commentary

Snowden’s Dirty Work For Putin

by Josef Joffevia The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Handygate” is another instance of foreigners hijacking what they think is American English and hip. A “handy” is a cellphone in German. Melded with “gate,” it stands for the U.S. National Security Agency’s assault on Germany’s national dignity: hacking into Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile, as trumpeted by defector Edward Snowden from his Moscow hideout in 2013.

Featured CommentaryAnalysis and Commentary

Europe To The World: “Count Me Out!”

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Tuesday, May 12, 2015

World Order, Henry Kissinger muses in his eponymous book, requires somebody—a state or an institution—to maintain it. He holds up the Westphalian System, put in place after the murderous Thirty Years’ War, as one institutional pillar. As another instance, he cites the Congress of Vienna (1815), which spawned the Quadruple as well as the Holy Alliance.

Analysis and Commentary

The Lessons Obama Could Learn From V-E Day

by Josef Joffevia The Wall Street Journal
Sunday, May 10, 2015

If President Obama had a sense of history, he might have thrown, in Washington, a more heartening party, to which V-E Day would serve only as prologue. Pride of place would go to the beginning of the most glorious chapter in American foreign policy, the Pax Americana that has held for 70 years and benefited not only the United States, but also the rest of the world.