The Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) bridges the worlds of scholarship and practice to understand and foster the conditions for effective representative governance, promote balanced and sustainable economic growth, and establish the rule of law. Our faculty, researchers, and students analyze the ways in which democracy and development are challenged by authoritarian resurgence, misinformation, and the perils of a changing climate.
Fostering and maintaining democracy, development and the rule of law is the great challenge of our time.
To support this work, CDDRL produces cutting-edge scholarship on the themes of global, political, and economic development, conducting research in a multidisciplinary setting that brings together faculty, researchers, and affiliates from across Stanford University in the fields of law, philosophy, history, political science, economics, medicine, business, engineering and computer science.
Our educational and training programs put this research into practice, providing critical skills and insights to students as well as policymakers around the world to help shape public discourse and knowledge about these core issues.
Our research agenda is comprised of programs that explore some of the most intractable problems and most exciting innovations in the study of democracy, development, and the rule of law, spanning the globe and bridging the divide between academic research and policy analysis.
We welcome undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral fellows in two major programs: The Fisher Family Honors Program and our Pre and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, including the Gerhard Casper postdoctoral fellowship in rule of law and the Einstein-Moos postdoctoral fellowship in the study of Democracy and Development.
CDDRL's practitioner-based training programs engage leaders in government and civil society organizations who are working to further democracy, economic and legal development in some of the most challenging environments around the world.
At CDDRL, we work to develop new perspectives and propose solutions to enduring developmental problems by collaborating across disciplines.
Mosbacher Director at CDDRL
History and Leadership
Founded in 2002, CDDRL has collaborated with scholars, policymakers, and practitioners around the world to advance collective knowledge about the linkages between democracy, sustainable economic development, human rights, and the rule of law.
The Center’s first director was Coit D. Blacker, followed by Stephen Krasner, Michael McFaul, Larry Diamond, Francis Fukuyama, and Kathryn Stoner. CDDRL is a multi-disciplinary center, and our faculty, researchers, and affiliates hail from across Stanford University in the fields of law, philosophy, history, political science, economics, medicine, business, engineering, and computer science.
View highlights from CDDRL's first 20 years and our 20th-anniversary celebration here.