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Joseph S. Nye

Mailing address

Taubman 162
Visions of Governance in the 21st Century Project
79 John F. Kennedy St.
Cambridge, MA, 02138

Joseph S. Nye

Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Telephone: (617) 495-1123
Fax: (617)-496-3337



Joseph S. Nye, Jr. is University Distinguished Service Professor and former Dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He received his bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Princeton University, won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, and earned a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard. He has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Chair of the National Intelligence Council, and a Deputy Under Secretary of State. His recent books include Soft Power, The Power Game: A Washington NovelThe Powers to Lead, The Future of Power, Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era and the latest released in 2015 Is the American Century Over? He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy, and the American Academy of Diplomacy. In a recent survey of international relations scholars, he was rated the fifth most influential over the past 20 years; ranked as the most influential scholar on American foreign policy, and in 2011, Foreign Policy named him one of the top 100 Global Thinkers. November of 2014, Emperor Akihito of Japan conferred the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, in recognition of his contribution to the development of studies on Japan-U.S. security and to the promotion of the mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.



By Date



(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

October 6, 2016

"Putting the Populist Revolt in Its Place"

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

In many Western democracies, this is a year of revolt against elites. The success of the Brexit campaign in Britain, Donald Trump’s unexpected capture of the Republican Party in the United States, and populist parties’ success in Germany and elsewhere strike many as heralding the end of an era. As Financial Times columnist Philip Stephens put it, “the present global order – the liberal rules-based system established in 1945 and expanded after the end of the Cold War – is under unprecedented strain. Globalization is in retreat.”

In fact, it may be premature to draw such broad conclusions.

Some economists attribute the current surge of populism to the “hyper-globalization” of the 1990s, with liberalization of international financial flows and the creation of the World Trade Organization – and particularly China’s WTO accession in 2001 – receiving the most attention. According to one study, Chinese imports eliminated nearly one million US manufacturing jobs from 1999 to 2011; including suppliers and related industries brings the losses to 2.4 million.



August 5, 2016

"Trump Has No Foreign Policy, He Has Attitudes"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, DW

By Michael Knigge and Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

Donald Trump's most dangerous foreign policy stance yet is his questioning of NATO, eminent political scientist Joseph Nye told DW. Nye also said that America's poor political discourse could hurt its image abroad.



August 4, 2016

"Is Brexit Good Or Bad? Experts Pick A Side"

Op-Ed, WalletHub

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"The geopolitical consequences of Brexit may not appear immediately. The EU might temporarily pull together, but there will be damage to its sense of mission and to Europe's soft power of attraction. Problems of financial stability and dealing with immigration may become harder to manage. Britain might see not only a revival of Scottish separatism, but an acceleration of its inward turning trends of recent years. And over the longer run, the effects on the global balance of power and the liberal international order will be negative."



June 6, 2016

"Can American Democracy Resist the Pull of Authoritarianism?"

Op-Ed, MarketWatch

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"The American founders wrestled with the dilemma of how powerful we want our leaders to be. Their answer was designed to preserve liberty, not maximize government efficiency. Many commentators have complained about institutional decay, while others point to changes — such as the advent of reality television and social media — that have coarsened the quality of public discourse."



May 11, 2016

"How Trump Would Weaken America"

Op-Ed, Hindustan Times

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"...Trump extols the virtues of unpredictability — a potentially useful tactic when bargaining with enemies, but a disastrous approach to reassuring friends. Americans often complain about free riders, without recognising that the US has been the one steering the bus."



April 12, 2016

"Brexit and the Balance of Power"

Op-Ed, Arab News

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"In addition to a revival of Scottish separatism, Britain's inward turn in recent years could accelerate. And over the longer run, the effects on the global balance of power and the liberal international order — in which Britain has a strong national interest — would be negative."



Spring 2016

"Where in the World Are We?"

Journal Article, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, issue 40

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"The world—and our foreign policy—requires a broader vision than a fixation on terrorism and the troubled Middle East. American foreign policy will be central to the long-term global balance of power and the production of public goods—but can the next American President explain that to a public that has become entranced with the crisis du jour?"



February 17, 2016

"The Russian Connection Between Syria and Ukraine"

Op-Ed, The National Interest

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"Given the burden of refugee flows on European unity, Russia may try to link cooperation in the Syrian crisis to relief from the sanctions that Europe imposed after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2014."



February 5, 2016

"Five Truths about Terrorism"

Op-Ed, Today's Zaman

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"Global terrorism is not new. It often takes a generation for a wave of terrorism to burn out. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the anarchist movement killed a number of heads of state for utopian ideals. In the 1960s and 1970s, the ... Red Brigades and Red Army Faction hijacked planes across national borders and kidnapped and killed business and political leaders (as well as ordinary citizens)."



February 3, 2016

"Can China Be Deterred in Cyber Space?"

Op-Ed, The Diplomat

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"Along with punishment and denial, entanglement is an important means of making an actor perceive that the costs of an action will exceed the benefits.  Entanglement refers to the existence of  interdependences which makes a successful attack simultaneously impose serious costs on the attacker as well as the victim. This is not unique to cyber. For example, in 2009, when the People's Liberation Army urged the Chinese government to dump some of China's massive holdings of dollar reserves to punish the United States for selling arms to Taiwan, the Central Bank pointed out that this would impose large costs on China as well and the government decided against it."

Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.