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

In the News

"Insurmountable Opportunity"

by Larry Diamondvia Huffington Post
Wednesday, January 14, 2009

One of the biggest and most fateful choices Barack Obama will make as president will be the shape of the nearly $1 trillion economic stimulus package that Congress will likely pass within the next two months...

In the News

The Spirit of Democracy: How to Make Democracies Work

by Larry Diamondvia Center for International Private Enterprise-Blog
Friday, November 28, 2008

Over the past three decades the world has been transformed...

Analysis and Commentary

Iraq needs a strong surge of diplomacy

by Larry Diamondvia Washington Examiner
Thursday, July 17, 2008

Iraq’s fundamental problem remains the lack of a broad political agreement on the constitutional shape of the country...

Time for diplomacy in Iraq by Larry Diamond - Hoover Digest 2008 #3

Time for a “Diplomatic Surge”

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 27, 2008

Democracy may be turning a corner in Iraq, but it’s going to need a lot of help. What kind of help? Intense pressure on Iraq’s leaders. By Larry Diamond.

In the News

The Fierce Urgency of Now

by Larry Diamond with William J. Perryvia Huffington Post
Saturday, May 10, 2008

During the 2004 general election campaign, former Secretary of Defense William Perry--one of the great public servants in the post-World War II history of the United States--actively campaigned for a presidential candidate for the first time...

Analysis and Commentary

The Way Out of Iraq

by Larry Diamondvia Huffington Post
Thursday, April 10, 2008

After the exhausting and dispiriting testimony of General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker to Congress this week, it is now even more starkly apparent that we are stuck in Iraq with no exit strategy...

Analysis and Commentary

End Foreign Aid As We Know It

by Larry Diamondvia Democracy: A Journal of Ideas
Monday, March 24, 2008

After more than four decades and $500 billion in international aid, much of Africa remains as poor, if not worse off, than it was at independence....

Analysis and Commentary

U.S. is finally getting it right in Iraq

by Larry Diamondvia San Francisco Chronicle
Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Five years after the launch of a war in Iraq that never found weapons of mass destruction and has not yet established democracy either, there are reasons to believe that a corner has been turned...

In the News

The Long and Winding Road

by Larry Diamondvia Huffington Post
Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Last week was the third time that many hopes and expectations for an early Barack Obama triumph in the Democratic presidential primaries were dashed...

In the News

The Democratic Rollback

by Larry Diamondvia Foreign Affairs
Saturday, March 1, 2008

Since 1974, more than 90 countries have made transitions to democracy, and by the turn of the century approximately 60 percent of the world's independent states were democratic...