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 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

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.

Analysis and Commentary

Why An Independent Doesn't Run For President

by Larry Diamondvia Bloomberg
Thursday, June 2, 2016

Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University, and co-founder of the Journal of ...

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Beware the Nativist Lurch

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 18, 2016

Yes, promoting democracy can be frustrating and dangerous. But freedom and pluralism are still the only way to sustain effective, lasting governments.


Authoritarianism Goes Global

by Christopher Walker, Marc Plattner, Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Monday, March 28, 2016

Undemocratic states are kicking their influence-peddling machines into high gear.


Americans Should Make Room For Third-Party Candidates

by Gary Ackerman, Larry Diamondvia The Washington Post
Thursday, March 3, 2016

The prospect of a White House run by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has reignited a critical debate about whether it’s possible for an independent to be elected president of the United States.


What Is America Fighting For?

by Larry Diamondvia The Atlantic
Saturday, December 19, 2015

The United States has been at war with ISIS for more than a year. But you cannot beat a surging ideology without a higher sense of purpose.

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A Very Cozy Duopoly

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 16, 2015

One unaccountable gatekeeper—the Commission on Presidential Debates—still bars the door to third-party candidates.



by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Saturday, October 10, 2015

Changing how elections are structured can help depolarize U.S. politics without jeopardizing the democratic process.


Timeline: Democracy In Recession

by Larry Diamondvia The New York Times
Tuesday, September 15, 2015

In 1974, Portugal’s Carnation Revolution, which overthrew the country's almost half-century dictatorship, inaugurated the “third wave” of global democratization.