Justin Vaïsse is a French historian, who is currently the director of the Policy Planning staff of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His father is prominent historian Maurice Vaïsse, who specialized in the same areas as his son.
Vaïsse was the director of research for the Center on the United States and Europe and a senior fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. He was also an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington D.C. His areas of expertise include Islam in France; French foreign policy; European affairs; American neoconservatism; American foreign policy; transatlantic relations; and international relations.
Vaïsse is the author of many articles and books including, most recently (2010), Neoconservatism: The Biography of a Movement, Harvard University Press, It has been hailed as “one of the most comprehensive and balanced studies of the history of neoconservatism yet to appear,” by Professor Francis Fukuyama.
Vaïsse is the author, co-author or editor of seven books on the United States, especially on American foreign policy, including the award-winning L'empire du milieu. Les Etats-Unis et le monde depuis la fin de la guerre froide (with Pierre Melandri – Paris, 2001) and Washington et le monde. Dilemmes d'une superpuissance (with Pierre Hassner – Paris, 2003).
He published Integrating Islam: Political and Religious Challenges in Contemporary France (Brookings Press, 2006) with Professor Jonathan Laurence from Boston College, a book named “2007 Outstanding Academic Title” by the American Library Association and subsequently translated into French. It has been criticized by Barry Rubin for relying entirely on French sources and failing to examine the influence of Arabic language sources on Muslims in France.
His more recent field of research is Europe's external relations. Starting in 2010, Vaïsse initiated and led, with Hans Kundnani, a project called the European Foreign Policy Scorecard, done in partnership with the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), to evaluate Europe's performance on the world stage. The first edition, published by ECFR in 2011, was described by Foreign Affairs as "a pioneering experiment in foreign policy analysis", and the second edition (2012) has had significant political impact in many European capitals.
Vaïsse is currently at work on a biography of former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, to be published in 2013, as well as an analytical account of Barack Obama's foreign policy, to be published by Brookings Press.
1996–1997: Visiting Fellow and Teaching Assistant, Harvard University.
1998–1999: Speechwriter for Alain Richard, the French Minister of Defence.
1999–2002: Instructor, Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris.
2002–2003: Visiting Fellow, The Brookings Institution.
2003–2007: Special adviser on the United States and transatlantic relations at the Policy Planning staff of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During that period, he was also an adjunct professor at Sciences-Po in Paris.
2007–2013: Senior Fellow and Director of research at the Brookings Institution
2013–present: Director of the Policy Planning staff of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- As author
- Le modèle américain, (Armand Colin, Paris, 1998)
- La démocratie au XXe siècle : Europe de l'Ouest, États-Unis, 1918–1989, (supervised by de Marie-Anne Matard-Bonucci and prefaced by Serge Berstein), (Atlande, Paris, 2000)
- L'empire du milieu – les États-Unis et le monde depuis la fin de la guerre froide, with Pierre Mélandri, (Odile Jacob, 2001, prix France-États-Unis 2001).
- La politique étrangère des États-Unis: fondements, acteurs, formulation, with Charles-Philippe David and Louis Balthazar, (Presses de Sciences-Po, 2003)
- Washington et le monde : dilemmes d'une superpuissance, with Pierre Hassner, (CERI – Autrement, 2003)
- "On s'est retrouvés là…" Pierre et Hélène de Chevigny: Souvenirs de guerre, souvenirs de paix, texts composed by Justin Vaïsse, (éditions privées, 2004)
- États-Unis: le temps de la diplomatie transformationnelle, Cahier de Chaillot, n°95, December 2006 .
- Integrating Islam Political and Religious Challenges in Contemporary France, with Jonathan Laurence, Washington, DC, Brookings Institution Press, 2006, ISBN 0-8157-5151-6
- Intégrer L'Islam – La France, ses musulmans : Enjeux et réussites, with Jonathan Laurence, Odile Jacob, 2007, ISBN 978-2-7381-1900-1 (French language version)
- Neoconservatives: the Biography of a Movement (Translated by Arthur Goldhammer), Harvard University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-674-05051-8
- In collaboration
- Ethnocentrisme et diplomatie : l'Amérique et le monde au XXe siècle, supervised by Pierre Mélandri and Serge Ricard, (L'Harmattan, Paris, 2001)
- Les grandes tendances du monde, supervised by Thierry de Montbrial and Philippe Moreau-Defarges, (RAMSES 2003 – IFRI–Dunod, Paris, 2002)
- L'Annuaire français des relations internationales 2002, vol. III, (Bruylant, Bruxelles, 2002)
- Guerres et sociétés : États et violence après la guerre froide, supervised by Pierre Hassner and Roland Marchal, (Karthala, Paris, 2003)
- Les relations franco-américaines au XXe siècle: Colloque de l'Observatoire de la politique étrangère américaine, 24 et 25 mai 2002, supervised by Pierre Mélandri and Serge Ricard, (L'Harmattan, Paris, 2003)
- L'empire américain ?, supervised by Michel Wieviorka, (Balland, Paris, 2004) – actes des Entretiens d'Auxerre de décembre 2003.