Our Squandered Victory and the Prospects for Democracy in Iraq


Date Wednesday June 29th 2005
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

In the fall of 2003, Larry Diamond received a call from Condoleezza Rice, asking if he would spend several months in Baghdad as an adviser to the American occupation authorities. Diamond had not been a supporter of the war in Iraq, but he felt that the task of building a viable democracy was a worthy goal now that Saddam Hussein’s regime had been overthrown. He also thought he could do some good by putting his academic expertise to work in the real world. So in January 2004 he went to Iraq, and the next three months proved to be more of an education than he bargained for.

In this talk, Diamond will show how the American effort to establish democracy in Iraq was hampered not only by insurgents and terrorists but also by a long chain of miscalculations, missed opportunities, and acts of ideological blindness. He will bridge the past, present, and future.


Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, professor of political science and sociology at Stanford University, and founding coeditor of the Journal of Democracy. He has lectured, taught, and conducted research in some 25 countries. His research and policy analyses are focused on the relationship between democracy, governance, and development in poor countries. He is the author of Class, Ethnicity, and Democracy in Nigeria and Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq (Times Books, 2005). He has also edited some 20 books, including the series Democracy in Developing Countries, with Juan Linz and Seymour Martin Lipset.

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