Larry Diamond

Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award
(2007)
Richard W. Lyman Award
(2013)
Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award
(2016)
Biography: 

Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. For more than six years, he directed FSI’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, where he now leads its Program on Arab Reform and Democracy and its Global Digital Policy Incubator. He is the founding coeditor of the Journal of Democracy and also serves as senior consultant at the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy. His research focuses on democratic trends and conditions around the world and on policies and reforms to defend and advance democracy. His 2016 book, In Search of Democracy, explores the challenges confronting democracy and democracy promotion, gathering together three decades of his writing and research, particularly on Africa and Asia.  He has just completed a new book on the global crisis of democracy, which will be published in 2019, and is now writing a textbook on democratic development.

Diamond’s other books include The Spirit of Democracy (2008), Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation (1999), Promoting Democracy in the 1990s (1995), and Class, Ethnicity, and Democracy in Nigeria (1989). He has also edited or coedited more than forty books on democratic development around the world.  He has served as Fulbright Visiting Lecturer at Bayero University Kano, Nigeria (1982–83) and as a visiting scholar at the Academia Sinica in Taiwan (1997–98).  He directed the Stanford Program on Democracy in Taiwan for more than ten years and has been a regular visitor to Taiwan since 1995.

At Stanford University, Diamond is also professor by courtesy of political science and sociology and is a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. He also served from 2010–16 as faculty codirector of the Haas Center for Public Service, where he helped launch the university’s signature public service initiative, Cardinal Service. He teaches courses on comparative democratic development, democracy promotion, and US foreign policy, and advises many Stanford students. In May 2007, the Associated Students of Stanford University named him Teacher of the Year for teaching that “transcends political and ideological barriers.”  At Stanford’s June 2007 Commencement ceremony, Diamond received the Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education. He was cited, among other things, for fostering dialogue between Jewish and Muslim students; for "his inspired teaching and commitment to undergraduate education; for the example he sets as a scholar and public intellectual, sharing his passion for democratization, peaceful transitions, and the idea that each of us can contribute to making the world a better place; and for helping make Stanford an ideal place for undergraduates." In January 2014 he received the Richard W. Lyman Award for service to the Stanford Alumni Association.  And in June 2016 he was honored with the Kenneth Cuthbertson Award for Exceptional Service to Stanford University, recognizing his “visionary leadership” of the Haas Center during a time of “unprecedented growth” and for his instrumental role in the launch of Cardinal Service, which seeks to make public service “central to the Stanford student experience.”

During 2002–03, Diamond served as a consultant to the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and was a contributing author of its report Foreign Aid in the National Interest. He has also advised and lectured to universities and think tanks around the world, and to the World Bank, the United Nations, the State Department, and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies dealing with governance and development. During the first three months of 2004, Diamond served as a senior adviser on governance to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. 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.

Among Diamond’s edited books are Democracy in Decline?; Democratization and Authoritarianism in the Arab World; Will China Democratize?; and Liberation Technology: Social Media and the Struggle for Democracy, all edited with Marc F. Plattner; and Politics and Culture in Contemporary Iran, with Abbas Milani. With Juan J. Linz and Seymour Martin Lipset, he edited the series, Democracy in Developing Countries, which helped to shape a new generation of comparative study of democratic development.

Diamond writes a monthly column for The American Interest and frequently consults on policies and programs to promote democracy.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Silence From The Party

by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Friday, July 13, 2018

Imagine that a Democrat—Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, any Democrat—had been elected president in 2016.

Featured

Countering A Kleptocratic Kremlin

by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Friday, April 20, 2018

With every passing week we have new evidence of the threat that Vladimir Putin’s kleptocracy poses to our democracy, our national security, and the entire liberal world order.

Analysis and Commentary

Are People Losing Faith In Democracy?

by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Monday, March 19, 2018

A new survey offers some reassurance that Americans retain their trust in democracy—but disturbing trends lurk beneath the surface.

Analysis and Commentary

Is Trump Giving Authoritarianism A Bad Name?

by Larry Diamond, Lee Drutman, Joe Goldmanvia The New York Times
Thursday, March 15, 2018
In the past two years, a wave of distressing commentary has stressed the fragility of American democracy and the potential, inspired by President Trump, for emerging authoritarianism.
Analysis and Commentary

The Liberal Democratic Order In Crisis

by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Friday, February 16, 2018

We are at a tipping point. Around the world, many democracies are hanging by a thread and autocrats are preparing more savage assaults on what remains of freedom.

Featured

China’s Surveillance State Should Scare Everyone

by Anna Rose Mitchell, Larry Diamondvia Defense One
Monday, February 5, 2018

The country is perfecting a vast network of digital espionage as a means of social control—with implications for democracies worldwide.

Featured

This Sputnik Moment

by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Monday, December 18, 2017

As authoritarian states like China double down on strategic investments and project their “sharp power” abroad, the United States may finally be reaching a new Sputnik moment.

Featured

How To Reverse The Degradation Of Our Politics

by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Friday, November 10, 2017

To fix democracy globally, we must first address toxic partisanship and polarization here at home. A promising electoral experiment in Maine might show the way.

Is There a Crisis of Liberal Democracy?

by Larry Diamond
Friday, October 13, 2017

We have entered a new era in which two great-power adversaries are threatening our democratic way of life with great subtlety and sophistication.

Analysis and Commentary

Who Rules In The Digital Age?

by Larry Diamond, Abbas Milanivia Stanford Alumni
Friday, September 15, 2017

How do we balance the right to free speech on digital platforms with other important values—security, civility and privacy? How have authoritarian regimes in the Middle East responded to the Arab Spring, and what role is social media currently playing the region? In these two recent Stanford event recordings, faculty and academic experts explore these timely, complex topics.

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