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Intensive Speaker Series: International Management

July 25, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Event Description

Is Democracy in Decline?

During the period of the “third wave” of global democratization, which began in 1975, democracy has expanded to become the dominant form of government in the world. By the turn of this century, roughly three in every five states were democratic, and there was a critical mass of democracies in every region of the world except the Middle East. However, since 2006, the world has been in a mild democratic recession. Democracy has ceased its expansion, the rate of democratic breakdowns has accelerated, freedom has been receding, and increasingly, it seems to be the autocracies of the world, not the democracies, that exhibit energy, self-confidence, and a will to expand their ranks. This is leading a growing number of analysts and scholars to ask the question, “Is democracy now declining in the world?” This lecture will review the empirical trends of recent years and decades, assess the sources of democratic distress, and suggest strategies for reversing the global recession of democracy.

About the Speaker

Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, where he directs the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Diamond also serves as the Peter E. Haas Faculty Co-Director of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford. 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, democracy promotion, and US foreign policy, 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.” In January 2014 he received the Richard W. Lyman Award for service to the Stanford Alumni Association.

Diamond is a founder and faculty co-leader of three CDDRL research programs, on Arab Reform and Democracy, on Liberation Technology, and on American Democracy in Comparative Perspective. His current research is also examining the political transition in Burma, where he has visited three times and lectured extensively.

During the first three months of 2004, Diamond served as a senior adviser on governance to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. On his return, he wrote and lectured 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. With Abbas Milani, he coordinates the Hoover Institution Project on Democracy in Iran.

Diamond is now completing a new book of essays, In Search of Democracy. His other books are 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 co-edited some 40 books on democracy, including the recent titles Will China Democratize?, New Challenges for Maturing Democracies in Korea and Taiwan, Democracy in East Asia, Democratization in Africa, and Liberation Technology: Social Media and the Struggle for Democracy. 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.


July 25, 2016
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Intensive Speaker Series: International Management


Geology Corner, Main Quad (Room 105)
450 Serra Mall, Building 320
Stanford, CA 94305
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