Josef Joffe

Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Biography: 

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

The Palestinian Distraction

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Blame Israel—despots in the Arab world are old hands at this way of sidestepping their own failures. Now this delusion is infecting the Arab spring. By Josef Joffe.

Analysis and Commentary

Optimists Were Wrong About the Arab Spring

by Josef Joffevia Wall Street Journal
Friday, September 16, 2011

There's a reason that hatred of Israel played well on the Arab street...

Optimists Were Wrong About the Arab Spring

by Josef Joffevia Advancing a Free Society
Friday, September 16, 2011

I wasn't alone, but the mea culpa is all mine.

Analysis and Commentary

The Euro Widens the Culture Gap

by Josef Joffevia Room for Debate (New York Times)
Monday, September 12, 2011

Culture doesn’t matter, Karl Marx orated; it is the “substructure,” the economy, that determines how society arranges its way of life. The tottering euro proves this great thinker wrong once more. It's the culture, stupid...

The Libyan War Was a Success. But It Won’t Be a Model for Other Wars.

by Josef Joffevia Advancing a Free Society
Thursday, August 25, 2011

How about the war being “favored by the fortune which loves the brave“? Good fortune played a role, no doubt, but the bravest were the Libyans who transformed themselves from a bunch of disheveled, underequipped civilians into a force capable of capturing Tripoli.

Analysis and Commentary

The Libyan War Was a Success. But It Won’t Be a Model For Other Wars.

by Josef Joffevia New Republic
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

By all means, let us savor this “splendid little war.” But let’s also keep in mind that it was a piece of good luck, not a model for humanitarianism next time...

Analysis and Commentary

London, the Global City

by Josef Joffevia Room for Debate (New York Times)
Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What makes cities great? It is always the same combination of wealth and power, dynamism and freedom which draws talent and ambition from all over the world...Though no longer the capital of an empire, London draws the best and the brightest...

The U.S. and E.U.: Have They Ever Been in Such Terrible Shape?

by Josef Joffevia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, June 27, 2011

This is no time for gloating, neither for Americans nor for Europeans. For both sides are in deep economic trouble, only in different ways. The U.S.

Analysis and Commentary

The U.S. and E.U.: Have They Ever Been in Such Terrible Shape?

by Josef Joffevia New Republic
Thursday, June 23, 2011

This is no time for gloating, neither for Americans nor for Europeans. For both sides are in deep economic trouble, only in different ways...

Analysis and Commentary

Alliance of the Unwilling

by Josef Joffevia Room for Debate (New York Times)
Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NATO is such a nice thing to have. After all, it is the longest-lived alliance in history. But it now comes with a warning: Use sparingly and only in combination with the United States...

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