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

Featured

The Middle East’s Next Moment Of Reckoning

by Larry Diamondvia Project Syndicate
Friday, January 20, 2017

When the Arab Spring erupted in December 2010, advocates for change in the Arab world had reason to be hopeful. But, as we saw in 2016, authoritarianism has returned, and whether that trend can be reversed in 2017 will depend on how well regional and international leaders have absorbed lessons from the recent past.

Featured

The Most Urgent Questions About the Russia Hacks

by Larry Diamondvia The Atlantic
Wednesday, December 21, 2016

No foreign power has ever intervened to try to shape a U.S. election with this kind of sophistication and potency.

Featured

Global Democracy Is Spiraling Down. Here’s What That Looks Like — And What President-Elect Trump Should Do.

by Larry Diamondvia Medium
Tuesday, December 13, 2016

In this series, FSI experts share their recommendations for President-elect Trump.

Featured

Russia And The Threat To Liberal Democracy

by Larry Diamondvia The Atlantic
Friday, December 9, 2016

How Vladimir Putin is making the world safe for autocracy.

Analysis and Commentary

Democracy After Trump

by Larry Diamondvia Foreign Affairs
Monday, November 14, 2016

[Registration Required] When U.S. President-elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20, he will face a world with more authoritarian momentum and greater democratic instability than at any time in the last several decades. How he responds will be one of the great challenges of his presidency.

Featured

It Could Happen Here

by Larry Diamondvia The Atlantic
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Democracy is facing setbacks around the world, but there hasn't been reason to doubt America's resilience—until now.

Featured

The Second-Most Important Vote On Nov. 8

by Larry Diamondvia Foreign Policy
Thursday, October 13, 2016

Maine voters are about to have their say on an experiment that could change the face of democracy in America — and the world.

Featured

Maine Can Bring Out The ‘Better Angels’ Of Our Democracy With Ranked-Choice Voting

by Larry Diamondvia Bangor Daily News
Thursday, October 6, 2016

American democracy is in trouble, but with a “yes” vote on Question 5 Mainers could do something significant to begin to fix it. By adopting ranked-choice voting, Maine could make its government work better while setting a model of reform for the rest of the country.

Analysis and Commentary

Democracy In Decline

by Larry Diamondvia Foreign Affairs
Monday, July 18, 2016

[Subscription Required] How Washington can reverse the tide.

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Totalitarian Spin

by Christopher Walker, Marc Plattner, Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 11, 2016

Social media and the Internet were supposed to enable democracy to triumph around the world, but now despots are using tech as an instrument of oppression.

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