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. 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

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Preparing for the Worst

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

If a massive terrorist attack on Washington wiped out our national leaders, what would we do? Hoover fellow Larry Diamond argues that the Constitution—framed long before weapons of mass destruction could even have been imagined—needs to be amended.

How to Win the War

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

The war on terrorism cannot be won by military means alone. Larry Diamond on what the United States must do to achieve a lasting victory.

Debt for Democracy

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, January 30, 2001

The campaign to convince the international community to write off the debts of the several dozen poorest countries is morally inspiring, politically timely—and terribly misguided. By Hoover fellow Larry Diamond.

What the Democratization of Mexico Means for All the World

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 30, 2000

The year 2000 has been a global waterloo for one-party regimes, with historic electoral victories for opposition parties in Mexico, Taiwan, and Senegal. Hoover fellow Larry Diamond on a promising trend.

A Report Card on Democracy

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, July 30, 2000

There have never been more democracies in the world, and the average level of human freedom is now the highest ever recorded. Reasons to celebrate? Yes—and no. By Hoover fellow Larry Diamond.

Analysis and Commentary

Compassionate Conditionality for Africa

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, July 24, 2000

Unless African countries lay the institutional foundations of limited and accountable government, under a true rule of law, they have no hope of relief from their burdens.

The Global Prospect

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Saturday, October 30, 1999

At the dawn of the new millennium, Hoover fellow Larry Diamond reviews the global prospects for democracy.

The Rough Road to Democracy

by Larry Diamond, Doh Chull Shinvia Hoover Digest
Saturday, October 30, 1999

South Korea has been rocked during the past two years by both government corruption scandals and the nation’s worst economic crisis in half a century. Can South Korea remain a functioning democracy? Hoover fellow Larry Diamond and Doh Chull Shin offer their assessment.

Institutions of Accountability

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 30, 1999

What do the otherwise disparate nations of Russia, Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria—and, for that matter, dozens of others—have in common? Corruption. Hoover fellow Larry Diamond on how to stop it.