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

In the News

Ill Winds: Saving Democracy From Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, And American Complacency, By Larry Diamond

featuring Larry Diamondvia Financial Times
Sunday, June 23, 2019

When one of Ernest Hemingway’s characters was asked how he went bankrupt, he replied: “Two ways . . . gradually and then suddenly.” Larry Diamond, one of America’s foremost political scientists, believes the same goes for global democracy, including in America.

Featured

A New Birth Of Freedom

by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Friday, June 21, 2019

Thirty-seven years ago, in one of his most visionary and enduringly influential speeches, President Ronald Reagan declared democracy to be the wave of the future, and committed the United States of America to a campaign to advance its cause worldwide. In what came to be known simply as the “Westminster Speech,” Reagan embraced a vision for fostering, through peaceful means, “the infrastructure of democracy—the system of a free press, unions, political parties, universities—which allows a people to choose their own way.” 

Interviews

The Global Crisis Of Liberal Democracy With Larry Diamond

interview with Larry Diamondvia The Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC)
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond talks about his new book Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency, and looks at the global and domestic threats to the principles of liberal democracy.

Interviews

Larry Diamond On C-SPAN With Steve Scully

interview with Larry Diamondvia CSPAN
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond discusses his latest book Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency.

In the News

Democracy In Crisis

featuring Larry Diamondvia The New York Times
Saturday, June 15, 2019

China today holds as many as a million Uighurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities in “political education” camps. Across China, Xi Jinping is pioneering a technological despotism of ubiquitous cameras, facial-recognition software and mass surveillance. In Vietnam, Belarus, Egypt and elsewhere, resilient tyrants rule through police monitoring, ethnic division and brute coercion. Burma’s liberalization ended in renewed military supremacy and the bloody expulsion of some 730,000 Rohingya Muslims into neighboring Bangladesh. In its 2019 report, Freedom House notes that last year, more countries became more oppressive than more free — the 13th consecutive year of more decline than progress.

Featured

Larry Diamond: Saving American Democracy

interview with Larry Diamondvia Commonwealth Club
Friday, June 14, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond discusses his latest book Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency.

Perspectives on PolicyFeatured

Managing The China Challenge

by Larry Diamondvia PolicyEd
Thursday, June 13, 2019

Due to China’s covert, coercive, and corrupting efforts to gain cultural and informational influence, America must reevaluate its relationship with China and find ways to counter its attempts to manipulate American entities.

Interviews

Larry Diamond: ‘It’s A Dark Period.’ The Stanford Expert Known As “Mr. Democracy” On The Shrinking Free World

interview with Larry Diamondvia Time Magazine
Thursday, June 13, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond talks about the shrinking free world, the US's irreplaceable role in it, and his book Ill Winds.

Interviews

Larry Diamond On Fostering Democratic Institutions Amid A Global Authoritarian Trend

interview with Larry Diamondvia KQED
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond discusses his new book Ill Winds, and warns that the US's role as an international champion of liberal democracy is needed now more than ever to counteract Russia and China's increasing global influence.

In the News

Larry Diamond: Saving American Democracy

featuring Larry Diamondvia Commonwealth Club
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

In 1974, nearly three quarters of all governments were dictatorships; today, more than half are democracies. Yet, by most measures, there are now 25 fewer democracies than there were at the turn of the millennium. Is democracy in decline? And if so, what has contributed to this regression? Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy and professor of political science and sociology at Stanford University has dedicated the majority of his life to answering these questions.

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