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

Here's How America Looks to the World

by Josef Joffevia Washington Post
Sunday, May 4, 2008

Some years ago, I received a terror threat...

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If Iraq Fell

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Withdrawing from Iraq wouldn’t produce a happy ending—not for America, not for the world. By Josef Joffe.

Josef Joffe presents his talk Bolting from Baghdad

with Josef Joffevia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Josef Joffe presents his talk Bolting from Baghdad: The Strategic Consequences of an American Withdrawal from Iraq. (40:51)

Analysis and Commentary

‘Her Anthem Is a Soothing Lullaby’

by Josef Joffevia Newsweek
Monday, October 29, 2007

Gerhard Schröder, the Social Democrat who ruled Germany from 1998 to 2005, left Angela Merkel with a nasty legacy: bad relations with old friends like the United States and too cozy relations with traditional rivals like Russia...

Analysis and Commentary

If Iraq Falls

by Josef Joffevia Wall Street Journal
Monday, August 27, 2007

In contrast to President Bush's dark comparison between Iraq and the bloody aftermath of the Vietnam War last week, there is another, comforting version of the Vietnam analogy that's gained currency among policy makers and pundits...

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...

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