Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency" /> <span style="font-style:italic">Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency</span> fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Winter Quarter

Winter Registration Now Open
Most Classes Begin Jan 13
shopping cart icon0


« Back to Liberal Arts & Sciences

WSP 94 — Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Saturday
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 1 day
Date(s): Feb 22
Time: 9:00 am—4:00 pm
Drop Deadline: Feb 15
Unit: 0
Grade Restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Tuition: $185
Status: Open
9:00 am—4:00 pm
Feb 22
1 day
Drop By
Feb 15
0 Unit
Grade Restriction
NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Stanford’s Larry Diamond is the author and editor of dozens of books on democracy, and former director of Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. He published an urgent and influential book last June, whose title we have adopted for this special symposium. Please join us for a day of compelling conversation on the alarming vulnerability of democracy in the world today.

Professor Diamond’s thesis is that four ill winds now threaten the postwar liberal international order. First is the rise of illiberal populism, which mobilizes anti-elitist and xenophobic sentiments to win power and then erode constitutional checks and balances. Second is Russian rage, which sees Vladimir Putin’s regime intervening in European, American, and neighboring post-Soviet politics to destabilize democracies and demolish the notion of objective truth. Third is the more sweeping projection of Chinese ambition, a global surge not only of economic and military muscle, but also of more subtle efforts to influence and censor media, politics, and society in many democracies. Finally, there is the polarization, dysfunction, and decline of our own democracy as a result of “American complacency.”

Professor Diamond will be joined by three distinguished colleagues: Anna Grzymala-Busse, Michael McFaul, and Minxin Pei. He also will offer a hopeful set of policy directions for reversing the ill winds that threaten democracy.

Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, and Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science and Sociology, Stanford

Larry Diamond’s research focuses on democratic trends and conditions around the world and on policies and reforms to defend and advance democracy. He has received the Dinkelspiel, Lyman, and Cuthbertson awards for exceptional contributions to Stanford, and he is also a past faculty director of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford. In 2004, he served in Baghdad as a senior advisor on governance to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. He is the author of seven books, including The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World, the editor or co-editor of fifty books, and a founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy.

Anna Grzymala-Busse, Michelle and Kevin Douglas Professor of International Studies; Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford

Anna Grzymala-Busse is the author of three books, including Redeeming the Communist Past and Nations Under God. Her research focuses on political parties, religion and politics, populism, and post-communist politics. She is an expert on the role of political parties and party competition in Eastern Europe, the political influence of the church in religious countries, and the impact of European Union membership on politics in newer member countries.

Michael McFaul, Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies; Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford

Michael McFaul served as ambassador to the Russian Federation in the Obama administration (2012–2014). He is the author, most recently, of From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia. His current research interests include American foreign policy, power relations among China, Russia, and the United States, and the relationship between democracy and development.

Minxin Pei, Tom and Margot Pritzker ’72 Professor of Government, George R. Roberts Fellow, and Director, Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies, Claremont McKenna College

Minxin Pei is an expert on governance in the People’s Republic of China, US-Asia relations, and democratization in developing nations. He is a nonresident senior fellow with the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and a frequent guest commentator on CNN and National Public Radio.

Lunch will be provided.