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

Analysis and Commentary

China’s Threat To Democracies Around The World

interview with Larry Diamondvia Democracy Works
Friday, September 20, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond talks about the threat China’s model of authoritarian capitalism poses to liberal democracies in the United States and around the world.

Interviews

Democracy Works: China's Threat To Democracy

interview with Larry Diamondvia WPSU Penn State
Monday, September 16, 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.

Interviews

Larry Diamond: Democracy And The Unconverted

interview with Larry Diamondvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond discusses his Foreign Policy article "America’s Silence Helps Autocrats Triumph."

Interviews

Markos Kounalakis With Larry Diamond: Saving American Democracy

with Larry Diamond, Markos Kounalakisvia World Affairs
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Hoover Institution fellows Markos Kounalakis and Larry Diamond discuss Diamond's new book, Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American ComplacencyDiamond argues that we are at a pivotal point where either a new era of tyranny or democratic renewal could be ushered in around the globe. This next era will depend on political reforms and political leadership from the United States and other free republics.

In the News

Democracy Is Fighting For Its Life

featuring Larry Diamondvia Foreign Policy
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

It is common today to speak of a crisis of democracy, but such language underrates the challenge at hand. American democracy faces not one, but three distinct and connected crises. There is an ongoing assault on democratic norms and values, which has led to the coarsening of the U.S. social fabric and the erosion of unspoken, but vitally important, norms that provide the guardrails of self-government. 

Featured

America’s Silence Helps Autocrats Triumph

by Larry Diamondvia Foreign Policy
Friday, September 6, 2019

Since the end of the Cold War, democracy has made many gains. But the fate of freedom is now hanging in the balance globally.

In the News

Saving American Democracy

featuring Larry Diamondvia World Affairs
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Last year Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world, reported that more countries became oppressive rather than free for the thirteenth year in a row. The widespread erosion of political rights and civil liberties along with global attacks on the rule of law and fact-based journalism are to blame for this retreat of democracy. 

Featured

What If There’s A Better Way To Handle Our Democratic Debate?

by James Fishkin, Larry Diamondvia The New York Times
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Our presidential race is a poll-driven battle of teams managing superficial impressions. The public’s responses to horse race polls are based on little more than vague ideas of what the candidates are saying. When these polls surprise (like one — an outlier, to be sure — from Monmouth University released this week showing a sudden three-way tie among Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren), that drives coverage.

Interviews

Retreating From Democracy, With Larry Diamond

interview with Larry Diamondvia World Class
Monday, August 26, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond discusses why the world may be on the cusp of a “democratic depression.”

In the News

San Franciscans Show Support for Hong Kong Protesters’ Right to Protest

quoting Larry Diamondvia NTD
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO—They wear black clothing and hold hand-made signs. The image used to symbolize the event is a female with a bloody right eye wrapped in bandages.

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