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

Analysis and Commentary

A Cold Warrior and His Contradictions

by Josef Joffevia Wall Street Journal
Friday, July 6, 2007

Even admirers of George F. Kennan -- the man most famous for articulating America's postwar containment policy toward the Soviet Union -- may well find themselves feeling ambivalent toward him as they learn more about his life and outlook...

Analysis and Commentary

The Big Idea

by Josef Joffevia Washington Post
Sunday, April 8, 2007

Did America's view of itself as unique lead to the Iraq war?

Analysis and Commentary

All Tomorrow's Euro-Muslims

by Josef Joffevia New York Sun
Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Mark Steyn, the Canadian columnist who lives in "blue" New Hampshire, is a true "red-stater" whose genius ranges somewhere between Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce...

Analysis and Commentary

Mr. Lonely

by Josef Joffevia New York Times Book Review
Sunday, December 10, 2006

Is the United Nations boring and irrelevant?

Analysis and Commentary

Why Play a Weak Hand?

by Josef Joffevia New York Times
Sunday, December 10, 2006

James Baker is a consummate diplomatist; recall how he rounded up dozens of allies in the first war against Saddam Hussein...

Analysis and Commentary

Ally with the Sunnis

by Josef Joffevia New Republic
Monday, November 27, 2006

The war in Iraq is lost--at least the original one, which was to make the place and then all of Arabia safe through democracy..

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The Perils of Soft Power

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Sunday, July 30, 2006

America's cultural presence in the world has become ubiquitous. Josef Joffe explores the strange mixture of repulsion and attraction that our soft power engenders.

DIVORCE, TRANSATLANTIC STYLE? The Future of the Transatlantic Alliance

with Niall Ferguson, Josef Joffe, Coit Blackervia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, November 3, 2004

For forty-five years, the threat of conflict with the Soviet Union brought the United States and Western Europe into a tight partnership, most notably represented by the NATO military alliance. But with the Soviet Union gone and the European Union on the road to possible superpower status in its own right, does the transatlantic alliance have a future? Peter Robinson speaks with Niall Ferguson, Josef Joffe, and Coit Blacker.

A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOC: The Lessons of Kosovo

with Norman M. Naimark, Josef Joffevia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, November 12, 1999

Why are the Balkans important to the United States and what was the justification for the war over Kosovo? What mistakes did we make in our handling of the conflict? What should we do differently the next time there is a crisis in the Balkans?

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