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

Angela’s Merkel Government Of Losers

by Josef Joffevia Politico
Friday, February 9, 2018

This is a first in the history of electoral politics: The biggest losers have ended up as the German government’s de facto leaders.

Analysis and Commentary

The Trump Deception

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Thursday, February 1, 2018

The President finally made good on his trade threats, imposing punitive duties on Chinese and South Korean exports. American consumers and workers will foot the bill.

The Palestinian People
Analysis and Commentary

Do The Palestinians Really Want Their Own State?

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Thursday, January 4, 2018

The answer has to be: no, not really. They could have had a state 80 years ago, and then again and again. They kept saying no.

Analysis and Commentary

Review: Secure The Peace, Then Talk Rights

by Josef Joffevia Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

If the U.S. wants to succeed at democratic regime change, it can’t act like a fire brigade: Rush in, flood the place, then head back home. Josef Joffe reviews ‘Realism and Democracy’ by Elliott Abrams.

Analysis and Commentary

How “America First” Turns Into “America Last”

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Friday, December 8, 2017

In an unprecedented challenge to the U.S., Germany’s foreign minister proposes “Europe first” and making nice with Putin’s Russia.

Analysis and Commentary

The Beginning Of The End Of Angela Merkel

by Josef Joffevia Politico
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

For all her Teflon-like invulnerability, the talks’ collapse leaves the chancellor gravely wounded.

Related Commentary

How to Approach the North Korean Threat

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Two basic truths for starters. First, no nuclear power has ever attacked another. Second, “de-proliferation” has only worked in countries that fulfilled one of three conditions, which North Korea has not.

Analysis and Commentary

Donald Trump And The Future Of U.S. Power

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Friday, November 3, 2017

The President underestimates the unique genius of postwar American grand strategy: that by serving others’ interests, the United States has also served its own.

Analysis and Commentary

The First Totalitarian

by Josef Joffe mentioning Robert Servicevia The New York Times
Thursday, October 19, 2017

Can first-rate history read like a thriller? With “Lenin: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror,” the journalist Victor Sebestyen has pulled off this rarest of feats — down to the last of its 569 pages. How did he do it? Start with a Russian version of “House of Cards” and behold Vladimir Ilyich Lenin pre-empt Frank Underwood’s cynicism and murderous ambition by 100 years. 


The Relentless Decline Of Social Democracy In The West

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Thursday, October 5, 2017

Throughout Europe and the United States, the moderate Left has increasingly become a victim of its own past success.