Diamond, Larry 1951- (Larry Jay Diamond)

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Diamond, Larry 1951- (Larry Jay Diamond)


Born October 2, 1951, in Los Angeles, CA. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Stanford University, B.A., 1974, M.A., 1978, Ph.D., 1980.


Office—Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Agent—Scott Mendel, Mendel Media Group, 205 St. John's Pl., Brooklyn, NY 11217. E-mail—[email protected]


Writer and educator. Institute for Contemporary Studies, public policy fellow, 1979-80; Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, assistant professor of sociology, 1980-85; Stanford University, Stanford, CA, professor of political science and sociology and senior fellow at Hoover Institution, codirector of Center for African Studies, 1994, 1999-2000, coordinator of democracy program at Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Stanford Institute for International Studies, 2002—. National Endowment for Democracy, codirector of International Forum for Democratic Studies. Bayero University, visiting lecturer, 1982-83; Academic Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, resident at Sun Yat-sen Institute of Social Sciences and Philosophy, 1997-98; University of Denver, member of international advisory board, International Human Rights Consortium, 2001—; University of California, Irvine, Harry Eckstein lecturer, 2003; guest speaker at other institutions, including University of Notre Dame, and Juan March Institute, Madrid, Spain; presenter at seminars and workshops in the United States and abroad. Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, senior advisor on governance, 2004; U.S. Agency for International Development, member of advisory committee on voluntary foreign aid; East Asia Barometer, member of scientific team; consultant to World Bank, United Nations, U.S. State Department, and other agencies.


International Political Science Association, American Political Science Association, African Studies Association, Association for Asian Studies, Latin-American Studies Association, Conference Group on Taiwan Studies, Pacific Council on International Policy.


Fulbright fellow in Nigeria, 1982-83; grants from National Endowment for Democracy, 1984-87, MacArthur Foundation, 1987-90, Agency for International Development, 1987-89, 1990-93, and National Science Council of Taiwan, 1997-98; POSCO visiting fellow, East-West Center, Honolulu, HI, 1999; grant from Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation, 1999-2000.


Class, Ethnicity, and Democracy in Nigeria: The Failure of the First Republic, Syracuse University Press (Syracuse, NY), 1988.

Promoting Democracy in the 1990s: Actors and Instruments, Issues and Imperatives, Carnegie Corporation of New York (New York, NY), 1995.

Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1999.

Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq, Times Books (New York, NY), 2005.

The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies throughout the World, Times Books/Henry Holt and Company (New York, NY), 2008.

Contributor to books, including Foreign Policy for America's Third Century: Alternative Perspectives, edited by Thomas Henriksen, Hoover Institution Press (Stanford, CA), 2001; Taiwan's Presidential Politics: Democratization and Cross-Strait Relations in the Twenty-first Century, edited by Muthiah Alagappa, M.E. Sharpe (Armonk, NY), 2001; The Architecture of Democracy: Constitutional Design, Conflict Management, and Democracy, edited by Andrew Reynolds, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2002; Comparing Democracies: New Challenges in the Study of Elections and Voting, edited by Larry LeDuc, Richard Niemi, and Pippa Norris, Sage Publications (Newbury Park, CA), 2002; and Foreign Aid in the National Interest: Promoting Freedom, Security, and Opportunity, U.S. Agency for International Development (Washington, DC), 2002. Contributor to scholarly journals and other periodicals, including Journal of Contemporary China, Party Politics, Policy Review, Current History, Asian Survey, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Foreign Policy, Orbis, Journal of Modern African Studies, and Journal of Democracy.


(With Juan J. Linz and Seymour Martin Lipset; and author of introduction) Democracy in Developing Countries: Africa, Lynne Rienner Publishers (Boulder, CO), 1988.

(With Juan J. Linz and Seymour Martin Lipset; and coauthor of introduction) Democracy in Developing Countries: Asia, Lynne Rienner Publishers (Boulder, CO), 1989.

(With Juan J. Linz and Seymour Martin Lipset) Democracy in Developing Countries: Latin America, Lynne Rienner Publishers (Boulder, CO), 1989, 2nd edition (with Linz, Lipset, and Jonathan Hartlyn), 1999.

(With Juan J. Linz and Seymour Martin Lipset) Politics in Developing Countries: Comparing Experiences with Democracy, Lynne Rienner Publishers (Boulder, CO), 1990, 2nd edition, 1995.

The Democratic Revolution: Struggles for Freedom and Pluralism in the Developing World, Freedom House (New York, NY), 1992.

(And contributor) Political Culture and Democracy in Developing Countries, Lynne Rienner Publishers (Boulder, CO), 1993.

(With Ehud Sprinzak; and contributor) Israeli Democracy under Stress, Lynne Rienner Publishers (Boulder, CO), 1993.

(With Marc F. Plattner) Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1993.

(With Marc F. Plattner; and contributor) The Global Resurgence of Democracy, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1993, 2nd edition, 1996.

(With Marc F. Plattner) Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Democracy, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1994.

(With Marc F. Plattner) Economic Reform and Democracy, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1995.

(With Marc F. Plattner) Civil-Military Relations and Democracy, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1996.

(With Anthony Kirk-Greene and Oyeleye Oyediran; and contributor) Transition without End: Nigerian Politics and Civil Society under Babangida, Lynne Rienner Publishers (Boulder, CO), 1997.

(With Marc F. Plattner, Hung-mao Tien, and Yun-han Chu; and contributor) Consolidating the Third-wave Democracies, two volumes, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1997.

(With Marc F. Plattner) Democracy in East Asia, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1998.

(With Marc F. Plattner and Andreas Schedler) The Self-restraining State: Power and Accountability in New Democracies, Lynne Rienner Publishers (Boulder, CO), 1999.

(With Marc F. Plattner; and author of introduction) Democratization in Africa, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1999.

(With Doh Chull Shin; and contributor) Institutional Reform and Democratic Consolidation in Korea, Hoover Institution Press (Stanford, CA), 2000.

(With Byung-Kook Kim; and contributor) Consolidating Democracy in South Korea, Lynne Rienner Publishers (Boulder, CO), 2000.

(With Ramon H. Myers) Elections and Democracy in Greater China, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2001.

(With Marc F. Plattner) The Global Divergence of Democracies, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 2001.

(With Richard Gunther; and contributor) Political Parties and Democracy, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 2001.

(With Marc F. Plattner) Democracy after Communism, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 2002.

(With Marc F. Plattner and Daniel Brumberg; and coauthor of introduction) Islam and Democracy in the Middle East, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 2003.

(With Adigun A.B. Agbaje and Ebere Onwudiwe) Nigeria's Struggle for Democracy and Good Governance: A Festschrift for Oyeleye Oyediran, Ibadan University Press (Ibadan, Nigeria), 2004.

(With Marc F. Plattner and Philip J. Costopoulos) World Religions and Democracy, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 2005.

(With Leonardo Morlino) Assessing the Quality of Democracy, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 2005.

(With Marc F. Plattner) Electoral Systems and Democracy, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 2006.

(With Sumit Ganguly and Marc F. Plattner) The State of India's Democracy, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 2007.

(With Bruce Gilley) Political Change in China: Comparisons with Taiwan, Lynne Rienner Publishers (Boulder, CO), 2008.

Founding coeditor, Journal of Democracy; coeditor of special issue, American Behavioral Scientist, March-June, 1992. Member of editorial board, Current History, 2000—, and India Review, 2001—.


A prolific author and editor of works that examine the theme of democracy and foreign policy, Stanford University professor Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, was asked to go to Baghdad in early 2004 to help lead Iraq's political reconstruction after the U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein. Though he had not initially supported the war, Diamond welcomed the opportunity to guide Iraq toward democracy. His experience, however, proved disillusioning in many respects. His account of his three-month stay in Baghdad, Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq, offers his assessment of the errors that characterized the invasion and led to horrifically escalating military and civilian casualties during the subsequent occupation.

As Diamond explained to San Francisco Chronicle writer James Sterngold shortly after his return to the United States, "We just bungled this so badly…. We just weren't honest with ourselves or with the American people about what was going to be needed to secure the country." In Diamond's view, the Bush administration's refusal to send sufficient troops to safeguard Iraqis from militias and insurgents was a catastrophic blunder. "You can't develop democracy without security," he told Sterngold. "If you don't get that right, nothing else is possible."

Critical reception of Squandered Victory tended to vary according to political orientation. The book "contains a long litany of blunders that help explain how and why America's encounter with Iraq has turned into a hopeless quagmire," wrote Michael Rubner in Middle East Policy. "Diamond places the blame for the early mistakes on ‘high officials of the Bush administration—including the president himself—who decided to go to war when we did, in the way we did, with the lack of preparation that has become brutally apparent.’ Convinced that American troops would face limited resistance, win a quick victory, and be hailed by one and all as liberators, officials in Bush's war council refused to consider any alternative options…. The decision to invade Iraq was made without any effective plan to secure the peace in the aftermath of the war, a blunder that Diamond characterizes as ‘criminal negligence,’ given the ample warnings about the potential for chaos that the White House had chosen to ignore." Bush and everyone on his national security team, concluded Rubner, should read Diamond's book, "heed its warnings and carefully consider its prudent recommendations for change."

In Commonweal, however, Margaret O'Brien Steinfels criticized Diamond for his acceptance of the "ex-post-facto justification of bringing democracy to Iraq," adding that "he seems never to grapple with the ethics of joining in a venture that was stupid, if not criminal." More muted commentary came from New York Times contributor Reuel Marc Gerecht, who expressed skepticism at some of Diamond's arguments, including his contention that Washington simply planned to hand postwar Iraq to Ahmad Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress. Though Gerecht agreed with Diamond's harsh assessment of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's decision to send too few troops to occupy the country, the critic questioned Diamond's criticism of U.S. officials who failed to understand the deep roots and enduring strength of nationalism in Iraq, pointing out that modesty "is a commendable attitude for a cultural anthropologist [but] it is less so for a military officer responsible for the lives of Iraqi civilians who were being robbed, shot, butchered and blown up at an ever-increasing rate." Commenting that Diamond's prescriptions—including postponement of national elections—could have ignited a full-blown uprising in Iraq had they been implemented, Gerecht nevertheless concluded that Squandered Victory is "required reading" as a study of how a man of high moral principles and liberal beliefs confronted his ambivalence about what role the United States should continue to play in Iraq.

Moving from the localized context of Iraq to the broader context of the globalized world in The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies throughout the World, Diamond examines the quest since the early 1970s for free, representative government. Despite the highly publicized setbacks for democracy in the late twentieth century in much of Africa, the Middle East, and Russia, Diamond sees the struggle for global democracy as an essentially positive story. As he makes clear, in 1974 barely twenty-five percent of independent states throughout the world boasted free, multiparty elections; by the mid-1990s, however, approximately three-fifths of independent states, including some impoverished nations, had become democracies. Drawing on his own travels since the 1970s in Portugal, Nigeria, Egypt, Israel, and Thailand, Diamond argues that the drive for democracy is not controlled by historical events or social structures but is "a consequence of struggle, strategy, ingenuity, vision, courage."



Diamond, Larry. Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq, Times Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Diamond, Larry, The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies throughout the World, Times Books/Henry Holt and Company (New York, NY), 2008.


American Prospect, July 1, 2005, Nancy E. Soderberg, "Learning from Iraq," p. 62.

Booklist, December 15, 2007, Vanessa Bush, review of The Spirit of Democracy, p. 9.

Commonweal, September 9, 2005, Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, "You Break It, You Buy It," p. 30.

Economist, July 2, 2005, "Optimism Overthrown; America and Iraq," p. 74.

Ethics & International Affairs, December 1, 2005, Omar G. Encarnacion, "Coming to Terms with Iraq," p. 91.

Foreign Affairs, July 1, 2005, Phebe Marr, "Occupational Hazards," p. 180.

International Security, winter, 2000, Gideon Rose, "Democracy Promotion and American Foreign Policy: A Review Essay."

Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2005, review of Squandered Victory, p. 458.

Latin American Politics and Society, spring, 2001, Steve Ellner, "Latin American Democracy in ‘Post-Consolidation’ Literature: Optimism and Pessimism."

Library Journal, July 1, 2005, Zachary T. Irwin, review of Squandered Victory, p. 101.

Middle East Journal, spring, 2006, Peter Sluglett, "Blunder Books: Iraq since Saddam."

Middle East Policy, spring, 2006, Michael Rubner, review of Squandered Victory.

Middle East Quarterly, spring, 2007, Michael Rubin, "Iraq in Books."

New York Times, July 10, 2005, Reuel Marc Gerecht, "‘Squandered Victory’ and ‘Losing Iraq’: Now What?"; January 20, 2008, Janine Di Giovanni, "Democratic Vistas."

Progressive, November 1, 2005, Matthew Rothschild, "The Iraq Debacle," p. 48.

Publishers Weekly, April 18, 2005, review of Squandered Victory, p. 52.

Reference & Research Book News, November 1, 2006, review of Electoral Systems and Democracy.

San Francisco Chronicle, April 25, 2004, James Sterngold, "Stanford Expert Says Iraq Is Spinning out of Control."

Washington Monthly, September 1, 2005, Ed Kilgore, "Inside the Green Zone: A Former CPA Advisor Details Just How Dysfunctional the Iraq Occupation Was," p. 51.

West European Politics, July 1, 2003, "The Place of Parties in Contemporary Democracies," p. 171.


Radical Academy,http://www.radicalacademy.com/ (February 28, 2008), Dr. Jonathan Dolhenty, review of Squandered Victory.