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

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Fake Newsies

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

This just in: journalists are people, too—sometimes very dishonest people. The story of a German journalist who told his readers a pack of lies about the United States.

Analysis and Commentary

Start Planning NATO’s 100th Birthday

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Friday, April 5, 2019

Alliances die when they win. So NATO should have gone the way of all flesh when the Soviet Union committed suicide in 1991. Yet it has not only endured, but also expanded. And based on enduring interest, the Alliance will survive Donald Trump, too.

In the News

‘The Lessons Of Tragedy’ Review: The Burdens Of Being A Superpower

quoting Josef Joffevia The Wall Street Journal
Friday, March 29, 2019

[Subscription Required] The United States has enjoyed an unprecedented period of prosperity and peace in the past seven decades. A principal reason for this, scholars Hal Brands and Charles Edel argue in their brilliant new book, is that following World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, American leaders and the public shared a tragic sensibility that shaped the postwar foreign-policy consensus.

Analysis and Commentary

Emmanuel Macron: The Man Who Would Be King Of Europe

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Monday, March 18, 2019

Emmanuel Macron and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer represent two competing visions for Europe: one top-down and protectionist, the other diffuse and decentralized.

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Trump And Angela Merkel Are Dueling Over A Pipeline. Here’s Why.

by Josef Joffevia The Washington Post
Thursday, March 14, 2019

Pumping gas from Russia to Germany, the Nord Stream pipeline is a tale of personal gain, starry-eyed politics and foolhardy strategic thinking. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Trump are dueling over a planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but the sad, revealing tale predates these leaders.

In the News

Europe’s Challenge Is Decline, Not Trump

quoting Josef Joffevia The Wall Street Journal
Monday, February 18, 2019

[Subscription Required] The greatest mistake Europeans can make is to believe that their biggest problem is Donald Trump. To be fair, it’s an easy error to make. In the long annals of American diplomacy, there’s no previous instance of an American president treating close allies with anything approaching the Trumpian mix of critique and contempt.

In the News

Pompeo Begins A Divisive March Through Europe

quoting Josef Joffevia The Washington Post
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Hungary, the first destination on a five-day trip through Europe. He’s also scheduled to visit Slovakia and Poland, where he will chair a conference on the Middle East, before heading home via Brussels and Reykjavik, Iceland. The State Department billed his stops in Central Europe as a return to a part of the world that 30 years ago “tore down the Iron Curtain to reclaim their freedom and sovereignty.”

Analysis and Commentary

Is It Really RIP For The LIO?

by Josef Joffevia The American Interest
Thursday, February 7, 2019

Lamenting the “collapse” or “end” of the Liberal International Order has grown into a cottage industry of pundits and professors. But is the LIO really dying?

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The Ghost of Weimar?

by Josef Joffevia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 25, 2019

Germany today possesses peace, prosperity, democracy—and episodic violence like that which led to the rise of the Nazis. A report from the heart of Europe.

Analysis and Commentary

Europe Does Not Exist

by Josef Joffevia Commentary
Thursday, January 24, 2019

By the numbers, the European Union is a giant. Its economy exceeds China’s by $7 trillion and is just a bit smaller than America’s $20 trillion. Russia? Its GDP of $ 1.7 trillion is petty cash. On paper, the EU nations marshal as many soldiers as does the United States, and half a million more than Russia. Their combined population dwarfs both. But if one measures by its weight in world affairs, Europe is a runt.