Skip To Content Skip To Menu Skip To Footer
Coronavirus Update

Dickinson is planning for a full return of students in the fall. Visit the Campus Reopening Page for the latest info and to view the dashboard.

Campus Reopening Page.

Faculty Profile

Neil Diamant

Professor of Asian Law and Society (2002)

Contact Information

Stern Center for Global Educ Room 005


Professor Diamant's research focuses on law and society in Asia (with particular reference to China, Japan, and India), civil-military relations in China, patriotism in comparative perspective, and Chinese constitutionalism. He also teaches courses on Israeli politics and Zionism. Publications: Professor Diamant is the author or co-author of three books, (with Martin Crotty and Mark Edele) The Politics of Veteran Benefits in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative History (Cornell University Press, 2020); Embattled Glory: Veterans, Military Families and the Politics of Patriotism in China, 1949-2007 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), and Revolutionizing the Family: Politics, Love, and Divorce in Urban and Rural China, 1949-1968 (University of California Press, 2000). He also co-edited Engaging the Law in China: State, Society and Possibilities for Justice (Stanford University Press, 2005). Recent articles include "Conspicuous Silence: Veterans and the Depoliticization of War Memory in China" (Modern Asian Studies, 2011), "Veterans, Organization, and the Politics of Martial Citizenship in China" (Journal of East Asian Studies, 2007), and, with Kevin J. O’Brien, "Veterans' Political Activism in China" (Modern China, 2014) and "Contentious Veterans: China's Ex-Officers Speak Out" (Armed Forces and Society, 2014). His articles on China's 1954 Constitution were published in The China Journal (2015) and Cold War Studies (2018). He has also contributed chapters to a number of edited volumes, including "The Limitations of Martial Citizenship in the People's Republic of China," in Peled, Lewin-Epstein, Mundlak and Cohen's Democratic Citizenship and War (2010); "Why Archives?" in Carlson, Gallagher, Lieberthal, and Manion's Chinese Politics: New Sources, Methods, and Field Strategies (2010); and "Legal Syncretism and Family Change in Urban and Rural China" in Galvan and Sil's, Reconfiguring Institutions across Time and Space: Syncretic Responses to Challenges of Political and Economic Transformation (2007).


  • B.A., Hebrew University of Jerusalem 1988
  • M.A., University of Washington, 1991
  • Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1996

2020-2021 Academic Year

Spring 2021

POSC 290 Authoritarianism
At the end of the Cold War in 1991, it was not uncommon to hear, in one version or another, that liberal democracy and free market capitalism not only emerged victorious in the realm of competing political ideas, but also that the political world in the near and distant future would be full of states adopting these ideas. At that time, countries such as China, Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, North Korea were considered outliers, that, like dinosaurs, would soon go extinct. Much has changed since then. Around the world democracy is in decline, while authoritarianism, in one form or another, is both resilient where it currently exists and on the rise in places such as Poland, Hungary, and the United States. More than this, authoritarian countries believe that their political model is superior in achieving goals the public considers important, such as economic growth and the provision of public order. This course offers students a comprehensive survey of authoritarianism as a political theory and practice, in comparative perspective. Looking at cases ranging from China, Taiwan, the USSR, Iran, Saudi Arabia to Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and the United States, we will examine the origins of authoritarian regimes, their fundamental features, how they maintain support, how they work in practice, and how they collapse, among other topics. Does authoritarianism work better? If so, under what circumstances, and why? Why are some authoritarian regimes so durable whereas others are unstable and weak? Why some collapse, and how do their legacies influence the kinds of political regimes that emerge in the aftermath?

EASN 490 Senior Research
Leading to a senior thesis and jointly supervised by at least two faculty in the program.