Lipset Lecture Series

The twentieth annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World was delivered by Larry Diamond — Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and founding Coeditor, Journal of Democracy — on “Power, Performance, and Legitimacy: Renewing Global Democratic Momentum.”

The Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World was inaugurated in 2004 by the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Munk School for Global Affairs at the University of Toronto as an important new forum for discourse on democracy and its progress worldwide.

The lecture is named for one of the great democratic scholars and public intellectuals of the twentieth century. Seymour Martin Lipset’s scholarship on such themes as the conditions for democracy, political parties, voting behavior, extremist movements, ideologies, and public opinion constitutes one of the most prolific, insightful, and widely read bodies of work on democracy ever produced by a single author.

Lipset was also one of the most important comparative analysts of the two great democracies of North America, and a strong advocate for US-Canadian cooperation. The joint US-Canadian sponsorship of the Lipset Lecture provides an opportunity for influential audiences in both countries to hear and discuss a major intellectual statement on democracy each year. It serves as a catalyst for further cooperation between Canada and the United States in the promotion of democracy and democratic ideas around the world.

The Lipset Lecture is delivered in both the US and Canada. It is an intellectual platform for men and women who, like Lipset, have made important contributions to our thinking about key issues of democracy through their writings and other accomplishments.

While some lecturers may be known primarily for their academic achievements, others will have records of public service that equal their intellectual stature. The lecture is published each year in NED’s Journal of Democracy.


Past Lectures

2023 – Larry Diamond, Power, Performance, and Legitimacy: Renewing Global Democratic Momentum

2022 – Anne Applebaum, Autocracy Inc.: How the World’s Authoritarians Work Together

2021 – Ronald Deibert, Digital Subversion: The Threat to Democracy

2020 – Minxin Pei, Totalitarianism’s Long Dark Shadow Over China

2019 – Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, The Rise and Fall of ‘Good Governance’ Promotion

2018 (presented in February 2019) – Anwar Ibrahim, Confronting Authoritarianism 

2017 –  William Galston, The Populist Challenge to Liberal Democracy

2016 – Ghia Nodia, The Crisis of Postnationalism

2015 – Andrew J. Nathan, The Puzzle of the Chinese Middle Class

2014 – Lilia Shevtsova, Russia’s Political System: The Drama of Decay

2013 – Donald L. Horowitz, Ethnic Power-Sharing and Democracy: Three Big Problems

2012 – Alfred C. Stepan, Democratization Theory and the Arab Spring

2011 – Abdou Filali-Ansari, The Arab Revolutions: Democracy and Historical Consciousness

2010 – Ivan Krastev, Paradoxes of the New Authoritarianism

2009 – Nathan Glazer, Democracy and Diversity: Dealing with Deep Divides

2008 – Jean Bethke Elshtain, Religion and Democracy: Allies or Antagonists?

2007 – Pierre Hassner, Russia’s Transition to Autocracy: The Implications for World Politics

2006 – Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Toward Islamic Democracies

2005 – Francis Fukuyama, Identity, Immigration, and Liberal Democracy

2004 – Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Scholarship and Statesmanship