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Biography

Larry Diamond speaking

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.  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. During 2017-18, he co-chaired with Orville Schell the Hoover Institution-Asia Society Working Group that produced 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.

Larry 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 Institution 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 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. A paperback edition of the book with a new preface was released by Penguin in April 2020. 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.

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 his course, Comparative Democratic Development, as a massive open online course (MOOC) on the edX platform.  And he is working a on 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.

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 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.