Larry Diamond

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

Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. He is also professor, by courtesy, of political science and sociology at Stanford. He leads the Hoover Institution’s programs on China’s Global Sharp Power and on Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Region.  At FSI, he leads the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy, based at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, which he directed for more than six years.  He also coleads (with Eileen Donahoe) the Global Digital Policy Incubator based at FSI’s Cyber Policy Center. 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 latest edited book (with Orville Schell), China's Influence and American Interests (Hoover Press, 2019), urges a posture of constructive vigilance  toward China’s global projection of “sharp power,” which it sees as a rising threat to democratic norms and institutionsHe offers a massive open online course (MOOC) on Comparative Democratic Development through the edX platform and is now writing a textbook to accompany it. 

Diamond’s book, Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency, analyzes the challenges confronting liberal democracy in the United States and around the world at this potential “hinge in history” and offers an agenda for strengthening and defending democracy at home and abroad. A paperback edition with a new preface was released by Penguin in April 2020. His other books include: In Search of Democracy (2016)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, most recently Dynamics of Democracy in Taiwan: The Ma Ying-jeou Years.

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 other edited books are Democracy in Decline?; Democratization and Authoritarianism in the Arab WorldWill 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.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Rebooting Democracy

by Larry Diamondvia Journal of Democracy
Friday, April 30, 2021

Few social scientists have done as much to expose the internet's risks and dangers as Canadian political scientist Ronald Deibert. Measured and soft-spoken, he has been fearless and relentless in exposing corporate, criminal, and government efforts to hijack the internet for profit and power. 

The Human Prosperity ProjectVideosFeatured

Why Political Freedom And Prosperity Go Hand In Hand

by Larry Diamondvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Socialism’s disastrous history shows us that political and economic freedom is the foundation for enduringly successful nations.

In the News

US Military Cites Rising Risk Of Chinese Move Against Taiwan

quoting Larry Diamondvia Spectrum News
Wednesday, April 7, 2021

The American military is warning that China is probably accelerating its timetable for capturing control of Taiwan, the island democracy that has been the chief source of tension between Washington and Beijing for decades and is widely seen as the most likely trigger for a potentially catastrophic U.S.-China war.


The Time Has Come For Nonpartisan State Election Leadership

by Larry Diamond, Kevin Johnson, Miles Rapoportvia The Hill
Sunday, April 4, 2021

Two secretaries of state were honored recently by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. Maggie Toulouse Oliver, New Mexico’s Democratic secretary of state, and Kyle Ardoin, Louisiana’s Republican secretary of state, received the organization’s prestigious Patriot Award on behalf of all U.S election officials, in recognition of their public service during the 2020 elections.

Policy StoriesFeatured

Keeping Hong Kong Free

by Larry Diamondvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, March 23, 2021

China is systematically destroying Hong Kong’s autonomy, democracy, and rule of law.

In the News

Trump Is Gone, But Democracy Is In Trouble

quoting Larry Diamondvia The Atlantic
Wednesday, March 3, 2021

A new report reveals that democratic governments are in retreat around the globe.


Recovering From Kleptocracy: A 10-Step Program

by Larry Diamondvia Pro Market
Thursday, February 18, 2021

In his book Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency, Larry Diamond highlights 10 steps to close existing loopholes in the US legal system, strengthen enforcement mechanisms, and generate broader momentum for an international war on kleptocracy.

Hoover senior fellow Larry Diamond speaks at Class Day Lecture.
In the News

Stanford's Larry Diamond: Necessary Electoral Reforms To Keep Our Democracy

mentioning Larry Diamondvia Commonwealth Club
Friday, January 29, 2021

Come for an important discussion on what changes may be needed in America's institutions in order to preserve our Democracy.

Analysis and Commentary

We Know What We Have To Do

by Larry Diamondvia American Purpose
Friday, January 22, 2021

Holding the perpetrators of January 6 accountable is not an act of vengeance; it is required for the defense of democracy.

No More Mr. Nice China

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Beijing’s “peaceful rise” no longer serves the country’s rulers. Instead they have adopted “sharp power.”