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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



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."



January 29, 2016

"Politicians Say American Leadership is in Decline. They're Wrong."

Op-Ed, The Washington Post

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"While American leadership will continue to be important, success in solving the new transnational challenges will require the cooperation of others. In this sense, power becomes a positive-sum game. If the liberal world order is to continue, it will not be enough to think in terms of American power over others. One must also think in terms of combining strength to accomplish joint goals."



January 6, 2016

"The Danger of a Weak Europe"

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"For US diplomats, however, the danger is not a Europe that becomes too strong, but one that is too weak. When Europe and America remain allied, their resources are mutually reinforcing."



Aspen Institute

December 2015

Blind Spot: America's Response to Radicalism in the Middle East


By Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School, Farah Pandith, Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project, David Ignatius, Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project, General James Cartwright, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Michèle Flournoy, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Philip D. Zelikow, Former Associate Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Former Faculty Affiliate, International Security Program, Sarah Sewall, Former Project Director, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Richard Fontaine, Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, General Brent Scowcroft, Editorial Board Member, Quarterly Journal: International Security and Jonathon Price

In Blindspot: America’s Response to Radicalism in the Middle East, authors share their insights and analysis on radical extremism in the Middle East, what it means for Americans, and how the United States should respond. The book is the product of the nonpartisan Aspen Strategy Group’s August 2015 meeting on America’s response to radicalism in the Middle East.  This book helps to decipher extremist ideology, place it in its larger global context, and suggest ways to defend American interests in the Middle East in the years ahead. The book offers a collection of policy proposals for the turbulent future ahead in the Middle East. A video of the book launch featuring Jim Cartwright, Jane Harman, and Richard Fontaine in conversation with Richard Fontaine can be viewed here:

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.