Ken Jowitt

Senior Fellow, Emeritus

Ken Jowitt is an emeritus senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Robson Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Jowitt specializes in the study of comparative politics, American foreign policy, and postcommunist countries. He is particularly interested in studying anti-Western ideologies and movements.

Jowitt received his bachelor's degree from Columbia College in 1962 and his master's degree and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1963 and 1970, respectively. The University of California Press published his doctoral thesis, Revolutionary Breakthroughs and National Development: The Case of Romania, in 1971. Jowitt taught at the University of California, Berkeley, for thirty-five years. In 1983 he won the University Distinguished Teaching Award and was dean of undergraduate studies from 1983 to 1986. In 1995, the year he was named Robson Professor of Political Science, he also received the Distinguished Teaching Award for the Division of Social Sciences.

Among his major publications is The New World Disorder: The Leninist Extinction (University of California Press, 1992). He has also written "Really Imaginary Socialism" (East European Constitutional Review, spring/summer 1997), "In Praise of the Ordinary: An Essay on Democracy," in Adam Michnik's Letters from Freedom (University of California Press, 1998), "Russia Disconnected" (Irish Slavonic Studies, 1998), "Challenging the Correct Line" (East European Politics and Society, fall 1998), and "Ethnicity: Nice, Nasty, Nihilistic," in Ethnopolitical Warfare: Causes, Consequences, and Possible Solutions, ed. Daniel Chirot and Martin E. P. Seligman (American Psychological Association, 2001).

In 1997 he delivered the presidential address at Whitman College and in 1998 delivered the Princeton Lectures and was the Jean Monnet Visiting Scholar at the European University in Florence. Most recently he delivered the Gay Hart Gaines Lectures on George Washington at Mount Vernon. Jowitt has spoken at the Commonwealth Club, the World Presidents’ Organization, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and numerous other professional and business organizations.

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Recent Commentary

FORTS AND FIREBREAKS: America's International Military Commitments

with Ken Jowitt, Daniel Moranvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, October 21, 1999

The Cold War is over, but America's overseas military commitments remain in place. What are we defending the world against? Should we bring the troops home and let the rest of the world fend for itself? Can we create a new blueprint for international involvement that makes moral and rational sense?

Toward a New Foreign Policy

by Ken Jowittvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 30, 1999

The Cold War world was dangerous and hostile but also predictable and tidy. Today’s world is likewise dangerous and hostile—but less predictable and far, far less tidy. Hoover fellow Ken Jowitt offers a new foreign policy for our uncertain times.