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. 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

Ingredients for a Lasting Democracy

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ousting an autocrat is only a start. The rules of power become just as important as who holds it. By Larry Diamond.

Obama's Moment of Truth

by Larry Diamondvia Advancing a Free Society
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Each president of the United States enters office thinking he will be able to define the agenda and set the course of America’s relations with the rest of the world.

Analysis and Commentary

Obama’s Moment of Truth

by Larry Diamondvia New Republic
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The clock is ticking on action in Libya—and on the president’s foreign policy legacy...

Transition Traps

by Larry Diamondvia Advancing a Free Society
Thursday, February 17, 2011

After the peaceful mass uprising that toppled one of the world’s oldest autocracies, it is now possible to imagine the emergence of a genuine democracy in Egypt—the most important country in the Arab world.

Analysis and Commentary

Transition Traps

by Larry Diamondvia New Republic
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How Egypt can avoid the most dangerous pitfalls on the way to becoming a democracy...

Analysis and Commentary

What Egypt's revolt means

by Larry Diamondvia San Francisco Chronicle
Monday, February 14, 2011

Contrary to widespread anxieties in the U.S. foreign policy establishment, [the toppling of Egypt's modern-day pharaoh through peaceful mass protests] will also serve the long-term interests of the United States - and Israel...

What Egypt’s revolt means

by Larry Diamondvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, February 14, 2011

The toppling of Egypt's modern-day pharaoh through peaceful mass protests, aided by Facebook and Twitter, marks a watershed for Egypt and the entire Arab world.

How Egypt can build lasting democracy in a post-Mubarak world

by Larry Diamondvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, February 7, 2011

Two decades after the fall of Soviet-bloc dictatorships, popular movements for democracy are erupting in the last regional bastion of authoritarianism: the Arab world.

Analysis and Commentary

How Egypt can build lasting democracy in a post-Mubarak world

by Larry Diamondvia Washington Post
Saturday, February 5, 2011

Regime transitions are uncertain affairs. But since the mid-1970s, more than 60 countries have found their way to democracy. Some have done so in circumstances of rapid upheaval that offer lessons for reformers in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries today...

Mubarak Must Go

by Larry Diamondvia Advancing a Free Society
Friday, February 4, 2011

Social scientists may succeed at explaining events retrospectively, but when they venture into the realm of forecasting, they are on shaky ground. It is very hard to get into the minds of individual actors and predict what they will do.