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 forthcoming book, Ill Winds:  Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency, analyzes the challenges confronting liberal democracy in the U.S. and around the world at this potential “hinge in history,” and offers an agenda for strengthening and defending democracy at home and abroad. He is now writing a textbook and preparing a massive open online course (MOOC) on democratic development. 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 more than forty books on democratic development around the world. He directed the Stanford Program on Democracy in Taiwan for more than ten years and has been a regular visitor to Taiwan since 1995.

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

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.

Beijing, China
Analysis and Commentary

Chinese Communism and the 70-Year Itch

by Larry Diamondvia Atlantic
Wednesday, October 30, 2013

China's government is approaching an age that has often proven fatal for other single-party regimes. Will Xi Jinping make the necessary reforms to avoid a crisis?

Oil Drilling
Analysis and Commentary

Africa’s Coming Resource Curse—And How to Avoid It

by Larry Diamondvia Foreign Affairs
Thursday, September 5, 2013
In October 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion to seize a palatial cliff-top home in Malibu, California.