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

Analysis and Commentary

Mubarak Must Go

by Larry Diamondvia Huffington Post
Thursday, February 3, 2011

President Obama must now decisively and publicly separate the United States from the Mubarak regime and identify squarely with the people protesting peacefully for democratic change...

Analysis and Commentary

Can Egypt Really Become a Democracy?

by Larry Diamondvia Atlantic
Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Protracted, unprecedented democratic change is possible, but it won't be quick or easy...

The Arab Democracy Deficit

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Between autocracy and the “oil curse,” Arab nations still see no need
to serve their citizens. This may yet change.

Analysis and Commentary

Progress, pitfalls as U.S. troops leave Iraq

by Larry Diamondvia
Thursday, August 19, 2010

Larry Diamond says there are signs of progress in Iraq. However, he says, the country is slipping backward on political, security fronts...

Progress, pitfalls as U.S. troops leave Iraq

by Larry Diamondvia Advancing a Free Society
Thursday, August 19, 2010

With the departure of the last U.S. combat brigade from Iraq, the Obama administration has taken a large stride toward its goal of complete American military withdrawal from Iraq by the end of next year. And there are many other signs of progress.

In the News

Why Are There No Arab Democracies

by Larry Diamondvia Journal of Democracy
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

During democratization’s “third wave,” democracy ceased being a mostly Western phenomenon and “went global.” . . .

Analysis and Commentary

How is Indonesia’s democracy doing?

by Larry Diamondvia East Asia Forum (Australia)
Monday, October 26, 2009

Since the mid 1990s, the proportion of countries in the world that are democracies – countries that meet the standard of at least electoral democracies in the sense that they can choose their leaders and replace them in free and fair elections – has stagnated, at around 60 and 62.5 per cent...

Analysis and Commentary

Democratically correct nation

by Larry Diamondvia Australian
Wednesday, October 21, 2009

THE state of democracy in Indonesia looks hopeful if we examine popular opinion...

Analysis and Commentary

Let's Hear the Democracies

by Larry Diamond, Abbas Milanivia New York Times
Monday, July 6, 2009

Notices of the demise of Iran’s Green Revolution are premature...

Analysis and Commentary

‘Instead of imposing policies, reward states that invest in well-being and institutions’

by Larry Diamondvia Boston Review
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Paul Collier has trenchantly identified the core obstacle to lifting impoverished countries out of poverty...