Ken Jowitt

Senior Fellow

Ken Jowitt is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Robson Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Jowitt specializes in the study of comparative politics, American foreign policy, and postcommunist countries. He is particularly interested in studying anti-Western ideologies and movements.

Jowitt received his bachelor's degree from Columbia College in 1962 and his master's degree and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1963 and 1970, respectively. The University of California Press published his doctoral thesis, Revolutionary Breakthroughs and National Development: The Case of Romania, in 1971. Jowitt taught at the University of California, Berkeley, for thirty-five years. In 1983 he won the University Distinguished Teaching Award and was dean of undergraduate studies from 1983 to 1986. In 1995, the year he was named Robson Professor of Political Science, he also received the Distinguished Teaching Award for the Division of Social Sciences.

Among his major publications is The New World Disorder: The Leninist Extinction (University of California Press, 1992). He has also written "Really Imaginary Socialism" (East European Constitutional Review, spring/summer 1997), "In Praise of the Ordinary: An Essay on Democracy," in Adam Michnik's Letters from Freedom (University of California Press, 1998), "Russia Disconnected" (Irish Slavonic Studies, 1998), "Challenging the Correct Line" (East European Politics and Society, fall 1998), and "Ethnicity: Nice, Nasty, Nihilistic," in Ethnopolitical Warfare: Causes, Consequences, and Possible Solutions, ed. Daniel Chirot and Martin E. P. Seligman (American Psychological Association, 2001).

In 1997 he delivered the presidential address at Whitman College and in 1998 delivered the Princeton Lectures and was the Jean Monnet Visiting Scholar at the European University in Florence. Most recently he delivered the Gay Hart Gaines Lectures on George Washington at Mount Vernon. Jowitt has spoken at the Commonwealth Club, the World Presidents’ Organization, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and numerous other professional and business organizations.

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Recent Commentary

Featured CommentaryAnalysis and Commentary

A Refashioned NATO

by Ken Jowittvia Strategika
Tuesday, May 12, 2015

NATO’s character and mission were clearly delineated at its inception. Its mission was to countervail Soviet military power, specifically an attack on Western Europe. The fixed focus was the Fulda Gap.

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Unexceptional America

by Ken Jowittvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, March 24, 2011

Well that’s what the president thinks…

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Separation Anxiety

by Ken Jowittvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 9, 2009

Russia today is neither autocratic nor democratic, communist nor Western. What is it? In a word: Putin. By Ken Jowitt.

Lenin Leading a Revolutionary Worker

Setting History’s Course

by Ken Jowittvia Policy Review
Thursday, October 1, 2009

Nations, identities, and influence

Kenneth Jowitt delivers his thoughts on International Politics in the 21st Century: Odd Mixes versus Simple Fixes.

with Ken Jowittvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, October 29, 2007

Kenneth Jowitt discusses the failure of American foreign policy to contend with the multi-dimensional aspects of international relations with specific focus on the Middle East, China, and Russia. (41:28)

ROCK MY WORLDVIEW: How to Win the War on Terror

with Ken Jowitt, David Frumvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, January 19, 2004

Do the neoconservatives know how to win the war on terror? Much has been made of the influence within the Bush administration of neoconservatives—those who tend to take a hard line in the war on terror and who favored the war in Iraq. Recently two men close to the Bush administration, Richard Perle and David Frum, wrote a book laying out the neoconservative agenda for winning the war on terror and making America safe. Their agenda is bold and ambitious. Critics would say it is reckless and dangerous. Who's right?

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Why the Bush Doctrine Makes Sense

by Ken Jowittvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 30, 2003

How the Bush administration has adapted to a post–Cold War and post–September 11 world. By Hoover fellow Ken Jowitt.

The globe in slices

Rage, Hubris, and Regime Change

by Ken Jowittvia Policy Review
Tuesday, April 1, 2003

The urge to speed History along

Communism, Democracy, and Golf

by Ken Jowittvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, January 30, 2001

How should we deal with the reality of a United States that a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall is the world’s ideological reference, economic innovator, and only global superpower? Hoover fellow Ken Jowitt offers some suggestions.

ON THE AMERICAN PLAN: American Foreign Policy

with Ken Jowitt, Michael Nacht, Jane Walesvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, November 28, 2000

From the Monroe Doctrine through the Truman Doctrine, from containment to détente, the principles behind America’s boldest foreign policy initiatives were straightforward and easy to understand. These simple principles told the rest of world what to expect from the United States and what we expected from the rest of the world. What were the principles behind American foreign policy in the 1990s? Did President Clinton apply those principles rigorously or haphazardly? How can President Bush do better?