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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 the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He received his bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Princeton University, studied at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, and earned a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard where he joined the faculty in 1964. In 2008, a poll of  2700 international relations scholars listed him as the most influential scholar on American foreign policy, and in 2011 Foreign Policy listed him among the 100 leading global thinkers.


From 1977-79, Nye was a deputy Undersecretary of State and chaired the National Security Council Group on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In 1993-94 he chaired the National Intelligence Council which prepares intelligence estimates for the president, and in 1994-95 served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. He won Distinguished Service medals from all three agencies.


Nye has published fourteen academic books, a novel, and more than 150 articles in professional and policy journals.  Recent books include Soft Power, The Powers to Lead, The Future of Power, and Is the American Century Over?


He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and an honorary fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. He is the recipient of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson Award, the Charles Merriam Award from the American Political Science Association, France’s Palmes Academiques, and various honorary degrees.



By Date



December 6, 2016

"The Kremlin and the US election"

Op-Ed, Aljazeera

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"But what about deterring operations that are not equivalent to an armed attack? There are grey areas in which important targets, say, a free political process, are not strategically vital in the same way as the electrical grid or the financial system. Destroying the latter two could damage lives and property; interference with the former threatens deeply held political values."




November 28, 2016

"The Good News and the Bad"

Op-Ed, The National Interest

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"Putin's strategy of intervention in neighboring countries and the Middle East, and his cyber meddling is designed to make Russia look great again, but is making their situation worse in the long run. Declining countries often take more risks and are thus more dangerous—witness the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1914."



Fall/Winter 2016-2017


Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School, Paul de Sa, Former Research Fellow, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, 1999-2000, Chuck Hagel, Visiting Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Institute of Politics, Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa, Juliette Kayyem, Belfer Lecturer in Inernational Security, Harvard Kennedy School, Zhu Liu, Associate, Environment and Natural Resources Program, Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Barry Posen, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 1979-1981; Former Associate, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, 1995-2000; Editorial Board Member, Quarterly Journal: International Security, Robert Springborg, Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar, Middle East Initiative and Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

A sampling of Belfer Center fellows and affiliates in the news.



(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?"

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.