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

Still Springing Forward

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 19, 2015

Despite terrorism in Tunisia, the birthplace of the Arab Spring, the democracy movement in the Arab world lives on. But its successes are fragile.

Analysis and Commentary

Let’s Have An Honest Debate On The Debates

by Larry Diamond, David C. Kingvia Congress Blog (The Hill)
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Political debates matter. They can alter the course of a campaign, propel a candidate or an idea, and provide voters an unfiltered window into how potential leaders handle tough situations. For the last six months, there has been a significant conversation over the state of the general election presidential debates and the role that the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) plays in maintaining the two-party duopoly that is so fiercely protected by the Republican and Democratic parties.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Technology Hasn’t Delivered More Democracy

by Larry Diamondvia Foreign Policy
Thursday, June 4, 2015

The first fifteen years of this century have been a time of astonishing advances in communications and information technology, including digitalization, mass-accessible video platforms, smart phones, social media, billions of people gaining internet access, and much else.

US Ballot Box Image
Analysis and Commentary

Ending The Presidential-Debate Duopoly

by Larry Diamondvia The Atlantic
Friday, May 8, 2015

The Democratic and Republican parties—which cannot seem to agree on anything else these days—have conspired to construct and defend a duopoly that closes competition to all other political alternatives. Including a third-party candidate would reinvigorate American democracy.

Analysis and Commentary

Tunisia Won’t Derail From Democracy

by Larry Diamondvia Defense One
Monday, March 23, 2015

A recent terrorist attack, doesn't signal the country's slide into violence and repression. Still, Washington needs to ensure the country's future.

Facing Up to the Democratic Recession

by Larry Diamondvia Journal of Democracy
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Democracy has been in a global recession for most of the last decade. Yet the picture is not entirely bleak. We have not seen “a third reverse wave.” The key imperative in the near term is to work to reform and consolidate the democracies that have emerged during the third wave—the majority of which remain illiberal and unstable, if they remain democratic at all. It is vital that democrats in the established democracies not lose faith. Democrats have the better set of ideas. Democracy may be receding somewhat in practice, but it is still globally ascendant in peoples’ values and aspirations.

Analysis and Commentary

Chasing Away the Democracy Blues

by Larry Diamondvia Foreign Policy
Friday, October 24, 2014

Why democracy is worth fighting for -- now more than ever.

Analysis and Commentary

Xi Jinping Could Be China’s Last Communist Ruler

by Larry Diamondvia Time Magazine
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

At this point, China can neither negotiate nor repress the mass demonstrations.

US Ballot Box Image
Analysis and Commentary

Democracy's Deepening Recession

by Larry Diamondvia Atlantic
Friday, May 2, 2014
The Arab Spring in Egypt
Analysis and Commentary

The Betrayal of Tahrir Square

by Larry Diamond, Jeff Shankvia Atlantic
Monday, March 3, 2014

An Oscar-nominated film about the Egyptian revolution is banned in Egypt. That says a lot.

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