Larry Diamond, senior fellow at the prestigious Hoover Institution and professor of political science and sociology at Stanford University, discusses the prospects and potential road map for global democratization in the opening address of Lawrence University’s four-part international studies lecture series, “Democracy, Development and Human Rights.”
Diamond presents, “Can the Whole World Become Democratic” Thursday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium on the Lawrence campus. The event is free and open to the public.
With the U.S.-led effort to build a functioning democracy in Iraq — one of the most formidable and unlikely countries in the world in which to achieve such a goal — as a backdrop, Diamond will explore the scenarios for “universal democracy” to emerge in the coming decades. At present, there are more democracies in the world –approximately 120 or 60 percent of all countries — than ever before. Many of those are poor, non-Christian, non-Western, Muslim-majority countries that have defied the typical democratic template, but have managed to maintain democratic institutions for more than a decade now.
For additional global democratization to occur, Diamond asserts the United States and other established democracies need to design aid policies that promote economic development, focusing on combatting corruption and fostering structures of accountability that ensure public resources are used to advance the overall public welfare. In addition, new forms of pressure should be applied on the world’s remaining dictatorships through strategies of international assistance that reward leaders who govern responsibly while denying resources to the world’s most corrupt and repressive regimes.
Diamond will argue the ultimate key to increasing democratic reform globally rests on national humility to forge a collective approach and the steadfastness to see it through over a long period of time.
One of the nation’s leading scholars on democratic development, regime change and U.S. foreign policy affecting democracy abroad, Diamond has written or edited more than 20 books, including “Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation,” and “Promoting Democracy in the 1990s: Actors and Instruments, Issues and Imperatives.”
Diamond, who earned his Ph.D. at Stanford, joined the Hoover Institution, a public policy research center devoted to advanced study of politics, economics and international affairs, in 1985.
Other lectures scheduled in the series include:
February 26 — John McCartney, professor of government and law, Lafayette College, “The Struggle for Human Rights in Africa and the Caribbean,” Wriston Art Center auditorium, 7 p.m.
April 14 — Minxin Pei, senior associate and co-director, China Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “Democratizing China: Lessons from East Asia,” Wriston Art Center auditorium, 7 p.m.
April 20 — Jonathan Greenwald, senior fellow at the International Crisis Group, “Prospects for Peace in the Middle East,” Wriston Art Center auditorium, 7 p.m.
The “Democracy, Development and Human Rights” lecture series is sponsored by the Mojmir Povolny Lectureship in International Studies. Named in honor of Lawrence’s long time professor of government, the lectureship promotes interest and discussion on issues of moral significance and ethical dimensions.