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

The Impeachment Conundrum

by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Democrats are facing a dilemma: If they defend democratic norms by acting to remove President Trump from office, they risk getting dragged into a polarizing style of politics that works to his political advantage.

Analysis and Commentary

How Should Universities Respond To China’s Growing Presence On Their Campuses?

by Larry Diamondvia China File
Monday, November 4, 2019

Over the last several months, opponents of the ongoing protests in Hong Kong have clashed with protest supporters at universities across the world. In Australia and New Zealand, pro-Beijing students have occasionally shoved, doxed, and threatened peaceful protesters. In some cases, these activities seem to have been directed by Chinese embassies and consulates, while others appear to have been spontaneous actions, undertaken by students from mainland China.

Featured

Combating China’s Influence Operations

by Orville Schell, Larry Diamondvia Project Syndicate
Monday, November 4, 2019

China has lately been infiltrating a wide range of US institutions – from universities and think tanks to the mass media and state and local governments – as well as the Chinese-American community. The only way to stop it is with a strategy of "constructive vigilance."

Interviews

Larry Diamond, "Ill Winds: Saving Democracy From Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, And American Complacency"

interview with Larry Diamondvia New Books Network
Monday, October 21, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond talks about the threat China’s model of authoritarian capitalism poses to liberal democracy in the United States and around the world. Economics drives politics, and it’s easy to admire China’s growth while looking past things like increasing surveillance and lack of respect for norms and the rule of law.

InterviewsPolitics

Larry Diamond: Stanford Researchers Bring Together People With Different Political Views

interview with Larry Diamondvia Here and Now (WBUR)
Thursday, October 17, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond says the single most important takeaway from their study was after three and a half days of talking about political issues — not politicians or candidates — the percentage of people who thought American democracy was doing “reasonably well” doubled.

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How to Save Democracy

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, October 9, 2019

A surge of authoritarianism has overwhelmed the “freedom agenda.” Yet even as Russia rages and China seethes, America can, and must, stand up for democracy.

In the News

These 526 Voters Represent All of America. And They Spent a Weekend Together.

featuring Larry Diamondvia The New York Times
Thursday, October 3, 2019

These voters — 526 total, representative of Americans who are registered to vote — were invited to spend a weekend in a resort outside Dallas to prove that there might be a better way to disagree.

In the News

How A Weekend Of Discussing Politics Shifted The Views Of These Americans

featuring Larry Diamondvia CNN
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
If you spent the weekend talking politics and policy with a roomful of people who thought differently from you, how might it change your views of American democracy? According to an experiment called America in One Room, that experience moves Americans toward a rosier view of how American democracy works.
Featured

This Experiment Has Some Great News For Our Democracy

by James Fishkin, Larry Diamondvia The New York Times
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The idea that our divisions are entrenched and unbridgeable is overstated.

Featured

What I Learned From Listening To Americans Deliberate

by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Friday, September 27, 2019
We don’t need a new crisis over presidential abuse of power to reveal how badly polarized and degraded our politics have become. Before Watergate, majorities of the American public trusted the federal government “to do what is right,” and as recently as the early 2000s, you could find at least four in ten Americans expressing that confidence. Over the last decade, that number has hovered at or below 20 percent.

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