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The Joseph J. Kruzel Lecture
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Larry Diamond
The Crisis of Liberal Democracy
Monday, April 10, 2017, 02:00pm - 03:30pm
The Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Avenue, Room 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201

Larry Diamond

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Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, where he also directs the Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. He is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy and also serves as Senior Consultant (and previously was co-director) at the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy. During 2002–3, he served as a consultant to the U.S. 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 the World Bank, the United Nations, the State Department, and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies dealing with governance and development. His latest book, The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World (Times Books, 2008), explores the sources of global democratic progress and stress and the prospects for future democratic expansion.

At Stanford University, Diamond is also professor by courtesy of political science and sociology. He teaches courses on comparative democratic development and post-conflict democracy building, and advises many Stanford students. In May 2007, he was named “Teacher of the Year” by the Associated Students of Stanford University for teaching that “transcends political and ideological barriers.” At the June 2007 Commencement ceremony, Diamond was honored by Stanford University with the Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education. He was cited, inter alia, 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.”

During the first three months of 2004, Diamond served as a senior adviser on governance to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. Since then, he has lectured and written extensively on U.S. policy in Iraq and the wider challenges of post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction, and was one of the advisors to the Iraq Study Group. 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.

He has also participated in several working groups on the Middle East. During 2004–5, was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations' Independent Task Force on United States Policy toward Arab Reform. With Abbas Milani, he coordinates the Hoover Institution Project on Democracy in Iran. Diamond has edited or co-edited some 36 books on democracy, including the recent titles How People View Democracy, How East Asians View Democracy, Latin America’s Struggle for Democracy, Political Change in China: Comparisons with Taiwan, and Assessing the Quality of Democracy. Among his other published works are, Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation (1999), Promoting Democracy in the 1990s (1995), and Class, Ethnicity, and Democracy in Nigeria (1989). He also edited the 1989-90 series Democracy in Developing Countries, with Juan Linz and Seymour Martin Lipset.


For the past decade, the world has been in a modest but persistent recession of freedom and democracy. As more democracies in recent years have slipped back onto an authoritarian path--including Turkey, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Nicaragua--analysts have debated whether we might be a risk of a "reverse wave" of democratic breakdowns. But with the rise of right-wing, nativist, populist movements and candidates in Europe and the United States, a bigger concern has emerged: That liberal democracy (and perhaps democracy altogether) may be threatened in the core of the democratic system. This lecture will review the trends in freedom and democracy over the last decade and then explain why liberal democracy is now in danger in the one place where it was presumed to be stable: The West.



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