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 forthcoming book, Ill Winds:  Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency, analyzes the challenges confronting liberal democracy in the U.S. and around the world at this potential “hinge in history,” and offers an agenda for strengthening and defending democracy at home and abroad. He is now writing a textbook and preparing a massive open online course (MOOC) on democratic development. Diamond’s 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. He directed the Stanford Program on Democracy in Taiwan for more than ten years and has been a regular visitor to Taiwan since 1995.

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

Only Connect

by Larry Diamondvia Foreign Affairs
Thursday, December 7, 2006

The Iraq Study Group offers a comprehensive strategy to arrest the slide toward chaos in Iraq...

Analysis and Commentary

Deal With the Sunnis

by Larry Diamondvia New Republic
Monday, November 27, 2006

The United States is in a quagmire in Iraq because it rushed to war, and then to occupation, without a plan or even a realistic assessment...

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The Pressure Builds

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, July 30, 2006

If the dam of mass violence bursts in Iraq, U.S. forces will be unable to stop the flood. Why we must find a political, not a miltary, solution. By Larry Diamond.

Analysis and Commentary

What to Do in Iraq: A Roundtable

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Daily Report
Wednesday, June 14, 2006

In his trenchant analysis, Stephen Biddle ("Seeing Baghdad, Thinking Saigon," March/April 2006) argues that the escalating violence in Iraq is not a nationalist insurgency, as was the Vietnam War, but rather a "communal civil war" and that it must therefore be addressed by pursuing a strategy different from "Vietnamization": if the United States were simply to turn over responsibility for counterinsurgency to the new Iraqi army and police forces, it would risk inflaming the communal conflict, either by empowering the Shiites and the Kurds to slaughter the Sunnis or by enabling a Trojan horse full of Sunni insurgents to penetrate the multiethnic security forces and undermine them…

Between Democracy and Stability

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, January 30, 2005

The demographic time bomb ticking away in the Middle East is going to blow away a lot of Western-leaning regimes—unless true reform begins soon. By Larry Diamond.

Beyond Incrementalism: A New Strategy for Dealing with Iran

by Abbas Milani, Michael McFaul, Larry Diamond
Saturday, January 1, 2005

In the coming years, few if any countries will more preoccupy the foreign policy attention of the United States than Iran. The United States has long lacked a viable and coherent policy toward Iran. Perhaps for the first time since the fall of the Shah’s regime in 1979, the United States seems determined to try to forge one.

RIAL POLITIK: Defusing the Iranian Nuclear Crisis

with Larry Diamond, Abbas Milanivia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, December 13, 2004

Iran—the same country that took American diplomats hostage twenty-five years ago and whose leaders often refer to the United States as the "Great Satan"—may be on the verge of developing nuclear weapons. How worried should we be? What can the United States do, if anything, to defuse the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran? Is a military response feasible? Or should the United States focus on strengthening the movement for democratic reform within Iran? Peter Robinson speaks with Larry Diamond and Abbas Milani.

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Report from Baghdad

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Saturday, October 30, 2004

Winning the war was easy. Winning the peace? Harder. Larry Diamond, who worked with the coalition in Baghdad last spring, explains what we have done wrong—and what we can still do right.

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The New War for Iraq

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 30, 2004

There is only one scenario for American success in Iraq—and it won’t be easy. By Larry Diamond. Sidebar: Reflections on the American Occupation It’s time for a smarter American strategy. By Larry Diamond.

The Long Haul

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 30, 2004

Helping Iraq to establish a free and democratic society is the most important task our nation will face for years to come. By Larry Diamond.