Josef Joffe (born March 15, 1944) is publisher-editor (German: Herausgeber) of Die Zeit, a weekly German newspaper. His second career has been in academia. Appointed Senior Fellow of Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies in 2007 (a faculty position), he is also the Marc and Anita Abramowitz Fellow in International Relations at the Hoover Institution and a courtesy professor of political science at Stanford University. Since 1999, he has been an associate of the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University.
Joffe was born into a Jewish family in Łódź, Poland and grew up in West Berlin, where he attended elementary school and gymnasium. He then came to the United States in 1961 as an exchange student, attending East Grand Rapids High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He attended Swarthmore College, graduating in 1965, obtained a postgraduate Certificate of Advanced European Studies from the College of Europe in 1966 and an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. He received a Ph.D in government from Harvard University in 1975.
In 1976 Joffe started his career with Die Zeit as a political writer and grew into managing the Zeit Dossier department, an important and often lengthy part of this newspaper which elaborates a single topic on several pages.
From 1982 to 1984 he was a professorial lecturer at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, and from 1985 to 2000 he was columnist and editorial page editor for Süddeutsche Zeitung. In 1990 and 1991 he taught at Harvard University, in 1998 he was a visiting lecturer at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and in 2002 he was a visiting lecturer at Dartmouth College. He has also taught at the University of Munich and the Salzburg Seminar.
In 2005, Joffe founded, together with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Eliot Cohen and Frank Fukuyama, The American Interest, a magazine where both American and international authors think and argue about the United States and its role in the world. Joffe's essays and reviews have appeared in a wide number of publications including Commentary, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, Prospect, The European Journal of International Affairs, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Weekly Standard. His scholarly work has appeared in many books and in journals, including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Security, The National Interest and The American Interest.
Topics and standpoints
International politics in relation with Germany's position in the world has been a preferred subject for Joffe.
Joffe's 1984 article in Foreign Policy, entitled "Europe's American Pacifier," is the source of the common international relations term of art "the American pacifier." The piece presents the argument that the preponderant power of the United States (in this case, projected into Europe) acts as a pacifying force in the region, preventing the region's multipolarity from leading to conflict.
Joffe is a member of a variety of forums and boards, such as the Abraham-Geiger-Kolleg rabbinic seminary (Potsdam), Deutsches Museum, Aspen Institute (Berlin), Jacobs University Bremen, Ben Gurion University, American Academy in Berlin, Leo Baeck Institute (New York) and Humanity in Action (Berlin). He is member of the International Advisory Council of the Brussels-based AJC Transatlantic Institute and the Trilateral Commission.
Joffe has received the Theodor Wolff Prize in journalism, the Ludwig Börne Prize in essays and literature, and the German Federal Order of Merit. He has also been awarded honorary doctoral degrees from Swarthmore College (2002) and Lewis and Clark College (2005). He received the Scopus Award in 2009.
In the study of Uwe Krüger the elites' influence on key media Josef Joffe is counted among the most "affiliated" journalists. Especially in the fields of security, defense and foreign missions of the German army his articles are supposed to copy the discourse of elites, spreading their arguments and advertising for more military involvement.
The NachDenkSeiten count him among the authors of a "US-organized mainstream media".
Jürgen Rose denotes Joffe in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung in relation to the ISAF mission in Afghanistan as "bellicist" and "habitual islamophobic". In accordance with the "Strategic Communication Program" for NATO countries, which Rose understands as intelligence propaganda recommendations of the Red Cell of the CIA Joffe adapts his work accurately and precisely to the discursive contexts of Germany (cost issue, non-interference, terrorist threat , drug trafficking, refugee flows, alliance solidarity and humanitarian assistance) in order to promote war propaganda.
Joffe himself describes the links between journalists and opinion-makers in politics and business as a "terrible, symbiotic relationship": "Everyone uses the other. We want them to tell us something, pulling us even into their confidence. They naturally use us as well, because they know the modern ontological principle that nothing exists which is not in the media."
- "Yet this Jewish son of Berlin—educated at Swarthmore, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard..." Review of Joffe's book Überpower by Bret Stephens in Commentary magazine
- Biography of Josef Joffe
- confirmation via Wikimedia-OTRS: OTRS-Ticket-ID: 5327417
- Joffe, Josef (Spring 1984). "Europe's American Pacifier". Foreign Affairs 54: 64–82. doi:10.2307/1148355.
- Beitrag in DIE ZEIT, 18.10.2007: »Ich bin Dein Gore…und Du sollst keine anderen Götter haben neben mir.« I am your Gore – Thou shalt not have any other gods beside me. Climatisizm as a new religion
- Scopus Award
- The Limited Partnership: Europe, the United States, and the Burden of Alliance, Ballinger (June 1987). ISBN 0-88730-216-5
- The Future of the Great Powers: Predictions, Orion (February 1999). ISBN 0-297-84000-2
- Überpower: The Imperial Temptation of America, W. W. Norton (June 2006). ISBN 0-393-06135-3
- The Myth of America's Decline: Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies, W. W. Norton (November 2013). ISBN 0-871-40449-7
- Danish Interview from Berlingske Tidende
- Interview with Josef Joffe
- Interview about the Superpowers and Europe for the WGBH series, War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
- Commencement Address at Swarthmore College
- Prospect magazine Archive of articles written by Joffe.
- The New York Review of Books
- A World Without Israel Essay published in Foreign Policy magazine.