Senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University
DEMOCRACY is going through its worst crisis since the 1930s. In recent years, as leading authoritarian countries such as China, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela have become emboldened within the global arena, challenging the liberal international political order, the advanced democracies have retreated rather than responding to this threat.
While some analysts draw upon this evidence to argue that the world has entered a "democratic recession," others dispute that interpretation, emphasizing instead democracy’s success in maintaining the huge gains it made during the last quarter of the twentieth century.
Discussion of this question has moved beyond disputes about how many countries should be classified as democratic to embrace a host of wider concerns about the health of democracy: the poor economic and political performance of advanced democracies, the new self-confidence and assertiveness of several leading authoritarian countries, and a geopolitical weakening of democracies relative to these resurgent authoritarians.
Mr. Diamond will explore these concerns that some more recent events are elements in a bigger picture that suggests the rules-based international order built by democratic powers should no longer be taken for granted.
Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. For more than six years, he directed FSI’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, and he continues to lead its programs on Arab Reform and Democracy and Democracy in Taiwan. He is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy and also serves as Senior Consultant at the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy. His sixth and most recent book, In Search of Democracy (Routledge, 2016), explores the challenges confronting democracy and democracy promotion, gathering together three decades of his work on democratic development, particularly in Africa and Asia. He has also edited or co-edited more than 40 books on democratic development around the world.