Larry Diamond

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Person.png Larry Diamond   TwitterRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(academic, spook)
Larry Diamond.jpg
Born2 October 1951
Alma materStanford University
Member ofAmerican Committee for Peace in Chechnya, Council on Foreign Relations/Members, German Marshall Fund, Hoover Institution/Fellows
Interests • regime change
• “Arab Spring”
regime change expert

Larry Jay Diamond is an American political sociologist and leading U.S. expert in the field of regime change, with a part among others the Arab Spring.


Diamond was educated at Stanford University with a degree in political organization and behavior in 1974, a master's degree from the Stanford Institute for Food Research in 1978, and a Ph.D. in sociology in 1980.


Diamond was an assistant professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University (1980-1985). He was co-director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies (1994-2009) under the auspices of the National Endowment for Democracy.

He was a dissertation consultant to Regina Ip, a member of the Executive Council (ExCo) and Legislative Council of Hong Kong, during her studies at Stanford.

He is a professor of Sociology and Political Science at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. At Stanford he teaches courses on democratic development and supervises the democracy program at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. He has published extensively in the fields of foreign policy, foreign aid, and democracy.

Diamond is also a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, which is Stanford University's main center for research on international issues. At the Institute Diamond serves as the director of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. The CDDRL's most recent accomplishment came in the spring of 2011 by building a technological community between Tahrir Square (Cairo, Egypt) and Silicon Valley (California Bay Area) to help mobilize protesters in Egypt who eventually toppled president Hosni Mubarak.[1]

Diamond has served as an advisor to numerous governmental and international organizations at various points in his life, including the United States Department of State, United Nations, World Bank, and U.S. Agency for International Development. He is a founding co-editor of the National Endowment for Democracy's Journal of Democracy. He is also a coordinator of the Hoover Institution's Iran Democracy Project, along with Abbas Milani and Michael McFaul.

Democracy as corporate dominance

Diamond believes "solving a country's governance, rather than its economy, is the answer to improving democracy.[2] The buzz word "governance", like "democracy", has a different from usual meaning in regime change parlance, where only governments that are friendly to the United States and willing to open the economy to U.S. corporations can "be democratic", and "corruption" is the justification to interfere (mostly by supporting NGOs) in other countries internal affairs.

Diamond believes that "without significant improvements in governance, economic growth will not be sustainable." This is of course a way of inventing a justification for the massive increase in poverty that normally follows U.S. led regime changes, where the economy is sold to multinational companies.

Occupation of Iraq

In early 2004, Diamond was a senior adviser on governance to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

His latest book is Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency, Penguin Press, 2019


  2. Diamond, Larry (2004). Essential Readings in Comparative Politics: The Democratic Rollback: The Resurgence of the Predatory State. New York: Norton & Company.