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 (FSI) and a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. He is also professor, by courtesy, of political science and sociology at Stanford. He leads the Hoover Institution’s programs on China’s Global Sharp Power and on Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Region.  At FSI, he leads the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy, based at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, which he directed for more than six years.  He also coleads (with Eileen Donahoe) the Global Digital Policy Incubator based at FSI’s Cyber Policy Center. 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 latest edited book (with Orville Schell), China's Influence and American Interests (Hoover Press, 2019), urges a posture of constructive vigilance  toward China’s global projection of “sharp power,” which it sees as a rising threat to democratic norms and institutionsHe offers a massive open online course (MOOC) on Comparative Democratic Development through the edX platform and is now writing a textbook to accompany it. 

Diamond’s 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 with a new preface was released by Penguin in April 2020. His 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, most recently Dynamics of Democracy in Taiwan: The Ma Ying-jeou Years.

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 other edited books are Democracy in Decline?; Democratization and Authoritarianism in the Arab WorldWill 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.

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Recent Commentary

In the News

Protecting American Democracy: A Conversation With Larry Diamond

featuring Larry Diamondvia Stanford Daily
Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Some Stanford election experts worry that the American right to a free and fair election is in jeopardy. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the United States, there is a growing consensus among experts that the ongoing and escalating effects of the pandemic have the potential to devastate the upcoming U.S. election and American democracy at large.

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Pacific Century: The Past, Present, And Future Of The China Challenge

interview with Michael R. Auslin, Larry Diamond, John Yoovia The Pacific Century
Thursday, August 13, 2020

An Interview with Larry Diamond.


Our Democracy Could Be In Peril From Within — Will Leaders Step Up?

by Joe Goldman, Lee Drutman, Larry Diamondvia The Hill
Saturday, July 25, 2020

The history of failed democracies is replete with one lesson above all others: In times of crisis, it is up to leaders committed to our democratic values to walk democracy back from the brink — and to put the constitution and the country above narrow partisan considerations.

In the News

Istanbul Mayor’s Strategy Offers Lesson To US Protesters In Overcoming Strong Man Leader

quoting Larry Diamondvia Ahval
Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Anti-police brutality protesters in the United States should take a page from Istanbul’s opposition Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu when handling rhetoric and policies designed by their nations’ leaders to divide citizens and hold on to voter support, columnist Thomas L. Friedman wrote in the New York Times on Tuesday.


The End Of China’s “Peaceful Rise”

by Larry Diamondvia American Interest
Friday, July 17, 2020

Two generations of American scholars held out hope that China would become “a responsible stakeholder.” In 2020, those hopes have been dashed.

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Democracy Versus The Pandemic

by Larry Diamondvia Foreign Affairs
Saturday, June 13, 2020

In late March, Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte rammed a bill through his country’s parliament that granted him vastly expanded emergency powers, ostensibly to fight the novel coronavirus. The bill authorized Duterte to reallocate the national budget as he saw fit and to personally direct hospitals. “Do not challenge the government,” he bellowed in a menacing televised address. “You will lose.”

Analysis and Commentary

The Long Struggle For Voting Rights

by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The events of the past two weeks should remind us why the right to vote is sacred and non-negotiable.


The End Of Hong Kong As We Knew It

by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Tuesday, May 26, 2020

“One country, two systems” was always unstable. Now it is beginning to disintegrate.


Larry Diamond: Our Democracy Depends On A Safe Election In November

interview with Larry Diamond, Michael McFaulvia Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond discusses what needs to be done to ensure a healthy election with Nathaniel Persily and Michael McFaul.


Prof. Larry Diamond – The New Normal For Global Democracy With COVID-19

interview with Larry Diamondvia The Elephant
Monday, May 25, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond discusses democracy in a COVID-19 world.