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


‘Beijing Leaders And Pawns In Hong Kong Now Crossing A Rubicon’ - Larry Diamond

interview with Larry Diamondvia HK CitizenNews
Sunday, May 24, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond discusses Beijing's approach to governing Hong Kong.

Analysis and Commentary

Don't Mess With The Supreme Court

by Larry Diamondvia The Hill
Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has begun to challenge basic premises of liberal democracy, such as individual rights to privacy and constraints on executive power. But even before the public health crisis drove a rush to emergency measures, liberal democracy was straining under the weight of mounting political polarization, distrust and a win-at-any-cost mindset among political competitors.


Larry Diamond: Authoritarians Or Democrats: Who Is Better Prepared To Cope With COVID-19 And What Lies Beyond?

interview with Larry Diamondvia Carnegie Endowment
Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond discusses whether authoritarian states are inherently better suited to deal with the pandemic; what is at stake for democratic states as they attempt to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus; what are the lasting implications for governments in a post-pandemic world; and are we witnessing a series of transformative events that will fundamentally alter governments’ relations with their publics?

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Counting On Coronavirus Luck Is Not A Fall Election Strategy. Best Bet Is Vote By Mail.

by Valentin Bolotnyy, Larry Diamondvia USA Today
Monday, May 4, 2020

Vote by mail is not a partisan plot, it's critical infrastructure to assure a safe election in a pandemic. Now is the time to invest and prepare.

In the News

COVID-19 Accelerating ‘Democratic Recession,’ Warns Larry Diamond

featuring Larry Diamondvia Stanford Daily
Thursday, April 30, 2020

Diamond also calls for U.S. November vote-by-mail at Hoover talk.


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Larry Diamond: COVID-19 And Democracy Around The World | Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing

interview with Larry Diamondvia Hoover Podcasts
Thursday, April 30, 2020

Hoover Institution Fellow Larry Diamond discusses COVID-19 And Democracy Around The World.

Larry Diamond: COVID-19 and Democracy Around the World

interview with Larry Diamondvia Hoover Virtual Policy Briefings
Thursday, April 30, 2020

A Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing with Larry Diamond: COVID-19 and Democracy Around the World   
Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 11AM PT/ 2PM ET.

Dynamics of Democracy in Taiwan: The Ma Ying-jeou Years

via Lynne Rienner Publishers
Monday, April 27, 2020

During the Ma Ying-jeou presidency in Taiwan (2008–2016), confrontations over relations with mainland China stressed the country’s institutions, leading to a political crisis. Nevertheless, its democracy proved to be resilient. The authors of Dynamics of Democracy in Taiwan explore key aspects of the complicated Ma era, including party politics and elections, the sources of Ma's governance challenges, changing public opinion, protest movements, and shifts in the regional balance of power.


Larry Diamond On America's COVID-19 Disaster

interview with Larry Diamondvia WAMC Northeast Public Radio
Friday, April 24, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond discusses why America’s COVID-19 disaster is a setback for democracy. In dealing with the crisis, Diamond says China was able to implement drastic measures to get its house in order while democracies around the world are floundering.


Larry Diamond On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Larry Diamondvia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond discusses his Atlantic article "America’s COVID-19 Disaster Is a Setback for Democracy."