Larry Diamond

Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award
Richard W. Lyman Award

Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, where he directs the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Diamond also serves as the Peter E. Haas Faculty Co-Director of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford. He is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy and also serves as Senior Consultant at the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy. During 2002-3, he served as a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development. He has also advised and lectured to the World Bank, the United Nations, the State Department, and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies. His 2005 book, Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq, was one of the first books to critically analyze America's postwar engagement in Iraq.

His latest book, The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World (Times Books, 2008), explores the sources of global democratic progress and stress and the prospects for future democratic expansion.

At Stanford University, Diamond is also professor by courtesy of political science and sociology. In May 2007, he was named "Teacher of the Year" by the Associated Students of Stanford University for teaching that "transcends political and ideological barriers." At the June 2007 Commencement ceremony, Diamond was honored by Stanford University with the Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education. In January 2014 he received the Richard W. Lyman Award for service to the Stanford Alumni Association.

Diamond’s current research is also examining the political transition in Burma, where he has visited three times and lectured extensively.

He has participated in several working groups on the Middle East. With Abbas Milani, he coordinates the Hoover Institution Project on Democracy in Iran.

Diamond is now completing a new book of essays, In Search of Democracy. He has written, edited or co-edited over 40 books on democracy.

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Recent Commentary

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A Very Cozy Duopoly

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 16, 2015

One unaccountable gatekeeper—the Commission on Presidential Debates—still bars the door to third-party candidates.



by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Saturday, October 10, 2015

Changing how elections are structured can help depolarize U.S. politics without jeopardizing the democratic process.


Timeline: Democracy In Recession

by Larry Diamondvia The New York Times
Tuesday, September 15, 2015

In 1974, Portugal’s Carnation Revolution, which overthrew the country's almost half-century dictatorship, inaugurated the “third wave” of global democratization.

Still Springing Forward

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 19, 2015

Despite terrorism in Tunisia, the birthplace of the Arab Spring, the democracy movement in the Arab world lives on. But its successes are fragile.

Analysis and Commentary

Let’s Have An Honest Debate On The Debates

by Larry Diamond, David C. Kingvia Congress Blog (The Hill)
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Political debates matter. They can alter the course of a campaign, propel a candidate or an idea, and provide voters an unfiltered window into how potential leaders handle tough situations. For the last six months, there has been a significant conversation over the state of the general election presidential debates and the role that the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) plays in maintaining the two-party duopoly that is so fiercely protected by the Republican and Democratic parties.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Technology Hasn’t Delivered More Democracy

by Larry Diamondvia Foreign Policy
Thursday, June 4, 2015

The first fifteen years of this century have been a time of astonishing advances in communications and information technology, including digitalization, mass-accessible video platforms, smart phones, social media, billions of people gaining internet access, and much else.

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Analysis and Commentary

Ending The Presidential-Debate Duopoly

by Larry Diamondvia The Atlantic
Friday, May 8, 2015

The Democratic and Republican parties—which cannot seem to agree on anything else these days—have conspired to construct and defend a duopoly that closes competition to all other political alternatives. Including a third-party candidate would reinvigorate American democracy.

Analysis and Commentary

Tunisia Won’t Derail From Democracy

by Larry Diamondvia Defense One
Monday, March 23, 2015

A recent terrorist attack, doesn't signal the country's slide into violence and repression. Still, Washington needs to ensure the country's future.

Facing Up to the Democratic Recession

by Larry Diamondvia Journal of Democracy
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Democracy has been in a global recession for most of the last decade. Yet the picture is not entirely bleak. We have not seen “a third reverse wave.” The key imperative in the near term is to work to reform and consolidate the democracies that have emerged during the third wave—the majority of which remain illiberal and unstable, if they remain democratic at all. It is vital that democrats in the established democracies not lose faith. Democrats have the better set of ideas. Democracy may be receding somewhat in practice, but it is still globally ascendant in peoples’ values and aspirations.

Analysis and Commentary

Chasing Away the Democracy Blues

by Larry Diamondvia Foreign Policy
Friday, October 24, 2014

Why democracy is worth fighting for -- now more than ever.