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

Ten Tests for Latin Democracy

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, October 30, 1997

Latin America has seen one authoritarian regime after another replaced by democratic institutions during the last decade and a half. Hoover fellow Larry Diamond nevertheless argues that Latin American democracy remains shallow and unstable--and he presents ten challenges that Latin American democracies must yet overcome.

Is There Hope for Africa?

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 30, 1997

Fifty-three nations occupy the continent of Africa. Only two have remained democratic since achieving independence. Hoover fellow Larry Diamond surveys the changes that must take place if democracy is ever to supplant Africa's corrupt, authoritarian regimes.

Is the Third Wave Receding?

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

The rapid emergence of new democracies during the past two decades is often termed the third wave of democratization. (The first wave took place from the 1820s to the 1920s, the second, from the 1940s to the early 1960s.) Hoover fellow Larry Diamond argues that the third wave is substantially over-and that we must act now to prevent a reverse wave from sweeping the weaker democracies away.

Prospects for Democratic Development in Africa

by Larry Diamondvia Analysis
Wednesday, January 1, 1997

Although Africa has been one of the least democratic regions of the world, it has been experiencing widespread pressures for democratic change since 1990. Although pressure-from both domestic civil societies and international donors-has failed to bring about a transition to democracy in most cases, it has succeeded in many. Today, about a third of all African countries are at least electoral democracies, and virtually all regimes in sub-Saharan Africa have at least legalized opposition parties. Conventional political science theories view Africa's democratic prospects as grim because of its extreme poverty and deep ethnic divisions. This essay takes a more hopeful and "developmental" view. It argues that democratic change can occur in Africa and must if it is to develop economically. But this will inevitably involve a long-term process of political and social change and, in particular, institution building. African countries need new, more appropriate, and more effective institutions to control corruption, provide a market-oriented enabling environment for economic growth, and generate incentives for political parties to craft broad multiethnic appeals and constituencies. If institutions of governance, electoral politics, and civil society can be strengthened and innovatively designed, there is hope for democracy in Africa. But this will also require heavy international conditionality and pressure for more responsible policies and more effective institutions, as well as greater international support for those African regimes that appear serious about democracy and good governance. African societies are ready for a new democratic beginning, but they require the right institutional frameworks at home and vigorous engagement of the international community if deeply entrenched patterns of statism, corruption, repression, ethnic exclusion, and violence are to be overcome.

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