Larry Diamond: Is There a Crisis of Liberal Democracy?

Professor Larry Diamond from Stanford University joins us for an open lecture on democratic recession and the current state of freedom in the world today.

Washington D.C. protest march

Photo: Ted Eytan/Flickr

About the lecture

For more than a decade, the world has been in a democratic recession that shows signs of deepening and mutating into some far more threatening to the future of freedom. The pace of democratic breakdowns has been rising in the last decade. 

Each year, many more countries are declining in freedom than gaining--including advanced liberal democracies like the U.S. Illiberal, xenophobic populists have been gaining ground in Europe, the U.S. and many developing countries. Established parties are declining if not in disarray. Beyond all this is the rise of powerful authoritarian competitors, particularly China and Russia, which are increasingly challenging theProfessor Larry Diamond liberal model if not directly undermining it, and which claim to have superior alternative models and values. China is also leading the way in the growth of authoritarian surveillance technology.

In this lecture, Diamond will analyze four ill winds that are blowing against freedom in the world: Russian rage, Chinese ambition, illiberal populism, and American complacency. He will close with an agenda for democratic renewal and reform.

The event will be moderated by Prof. Dan Banik, SUM, University of Oslo.


This event is free and open to all, but requires registration.

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About the speaker

Larry Diamond is Professor of Political Science and Sociology at Stanford University. He is also 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 and its Global Digital Policy Incubator. He is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy and also serves as a senior consultant at the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy.

Larry Diamonds forthcoming book Ill WindsHis research focuses on democratic trends and conditions around the world and on policies and reforms to defend and advance democracy. His forthcoming 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. He is now writing a textbook and preparing a massive open online course (MOOC) on democratic development.

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 co-edited more than forty books on democratic development around the world. He directed the Stanford Program on Democracy in Taiwan for more than ten years and has been a regular visitor to Taiwan since 1995.

Read a recent piece by Prof. Diamond on "The Global Crisis of Democracy" in the Wall Street Journal here (behind paywall).

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Published May 21, 2019 10:17 AM - Last modified May 21, 2019 5:30 PM