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 (FSI) at Stanford University. He also chairs the Hoover Institution Project on Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Region and is the principal investigator of the Global Digital Policy Incubator, part of Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center. 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. During 2017–18, he cochaired, with Orville Schell, a working group formed of researchers from Hoover and from the Asia Society Center on US-China Relations, culminating in the report China’s Influence and American Interests: Promoting Constructing Vigilance (published by the Hoover Institution Press in 2019). 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.

Diamond’s research focuses on democratic trends and conditions around the world and on policies and reforms to defend and advance democracy. He is currently writing and speaking about the deepening recession of freedom and democracy in the world in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to reverse it. He also leads a continuing Hoover project to track China’s “sharp power” projection around the world.  His latest 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 of the book with a new preface was released by Penguin in April 2020. 

Diamond is professor by courtesy of Political Science and Sociology at Stanford University, where he teaches courses on democracy and American foreign policy. He is currently offering Comparative Democratic Development as a massive open online course (MOOC) on the edX platform.  And he is working on a textbook that will eventually accompany the course.

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.

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 some fifty books on democratic development around the world. Among them are Democracy in Decline? (2016); Democratization and Authoritarianism in the Arab World (2014); Will China Democratize? (2013); and Liberation Technology: Social Media and the Struggle for Democracy (2012), all edited with Marc F. Plattner; and Politics and Culture in Contemporary Iran (2015), with Abbas Milani. With Juan J. Linz and Seymour Martin Lipset he edited the four-volume series Democracy in Developing Countries (1988–89), which helped to shape a new generation of comparative study of democratic development.

Diamond writes a monthly column for the American Interest and frequently writes, speaks, and consults about how to defend and reform liberal democracy. He is a prominent advocate of reforms—particularly vote by mail and ranked-choice voting—to strengthen American democracy.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

America’s COVID-19 Disaster Is A Setback For Democracy

by Larry Diamondvia The Atlantic
Thursday, April 16, 2020

In December 1940—a year before the attack on Pearl Harbor, but well into Britain’s struggle for survival against the Nazis—President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for the United States to abandon isolationism and become “the arsenal of democracy.” To make that happen, he mobilized American industry and produced the planes, ships, guns, and ammunition needed to defeat fascism.

Interviews

Larry Diamond Speaks On The New Normal For Democracy Globally In The COVID-19 Era

interview with Larry Diamondvia The Elephant
Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond discusses democracy in the era of COVID-19.

Interviews

Larry Diamond On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Larry Diamondvia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond discusses his American Interest article "How We Can Manage the Pandemic and Preserve our Democracy."

Analysis and Commentary

How We Can Manage The Pandemic And Preserve Our Democracy

by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Monday, March 30, 2020

COVID-19 presents us with both our worst public health crisis in a century and the greatest challenge to our democracy since World War II. Here is a national strategy to address both challenges.

FeaturedNational Security

How To Beat A Populist

by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Some lessons for older, more established democracies taken from the struggles of liberals fighting the good fight in younger and less stable democracies.

InterviewsNational Security

Larry Diamond: As FBI Tackles Chinese Espionage, Some Fear A New Red Scare

interview with Larry Diamondvia WBUR
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond discusses whether the FBI is overreacting to Chinese theft of intellectual property.

In the News

Idaho State University Frank Church Symposium Set Feb. 20-21 With “The End Of Democracy?" Theme

featuring Larry Diamondvia Idaho State University News
Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The International Affairs Council of Idaho State University invites community members to attend the Frank Church Symposium on Feb. 20 and 21. This year’s symposium theme is “The End of Democracy?” and participants will discuss the state of democracy in the world.

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Breaking Out Of The Democratic Slump

by Larry Diamondvia Analysis
Thursday, February 6, 2020

Since 2006, democracy in the world has been trending downward. A number of liberal democracies are becoming less liberal, and authoritarian regimes are developing more repressive tendencies. Democracies are dying at the hands of elected authoritarian populists who neuter or take over the institutions meant to constrain them. Changes in the international environment, as well as technological developments and growing inequality, have contributed to this democratic slump. 

Analysis and Commentary

Breaking Out Of The Democratic Slump

by Larry Diamondvia Journal of Democracy
Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Since 2006, democracy in the world has been trending downward. A number of liberal democracies are becoming less liberal, and authoritarian regimes are developing more repressive tendencies. Democracies are dying at the hands of elected authoritarian populists who neuter or take over the institutions meant to constrain them. Changes in the international environment, as well as technological developments and growing inequality, have contributed to this democratic slump. 

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America in One Room

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 20, 2020

If voters stopped shouting at each other and tried listening instead, what would they hear? And what would they do next? A novel experiment aimed to find out.

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