Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination

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Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination
Corwin, Bendheim, Fisher Halls at Princeton University.jpg
Bendheim Hall, Princeton University
Parent institution
Princeton University
DirectorWolfgang F. Danspeckgruber
Academic staff
approx. 39 professors and fellows
Location, ,
United States

The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD) is the world's leading research institute on self-determination, self-governance, and diplomacy.[1] LISD is affiliated with the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.[2] Founded in 2000 by the H.S.H. Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein, the Institute aims to enhance global peace and stability through its projects, publications, and commentaries.[3]

The overarching principles of LISD are outlined in the Liechtenstein Draft Convention on Self-Determination Through Self-Administration (2002), which was drafted by H.S.H. Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein and Sir Arthur Watts.[4][5] The manuscript outlines the general principle of self-determination as detailed by the United Nations General Assembly. It addresses, not only the set of proposals and technical requirements for the so-called Liechtenstein Initiative, but it also considers the structure of a treaty as a legal instrument for future cases.[6]


In 2000, Prince Hans Adam II (born 1945) established a fund for the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, which was based at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey.[7] The $12 million gift provides funding, support, and space for faculty, students, and policymakers to engage in research on self-determination. Founding Director Wolfgang Danspeckgruber remarked that LISD aims to "reduce the tumultuous and frequently violent process inherent in the search for increased autonomy.”[8] The early projects at LISD included one on state power, borders, and self-governance in the former Soviet Union, and another that sought to analyze tensions among separatist groups in Kashmir.[9] Since then, LISD has broadened in scope to include projects in a wide variety of geographic regions. More recent projects include LISD's focus on conflicts in the Balkan region, especially in states such as Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro. There has also been interest in researching aspects of Tibetan self-determination in partnership with the Association for Asian Studies.[10]



As of the 2018-2019 academic year, LISD has 39 faculty associates and 20 non-resident Fellows. The members of the executive committee include Cecilia Rouse, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School; Mark R. Beissinger, Henry W. Putnam Professor of Politics; and Amaney Jamal, Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics.[11] Members of the Executive Committee include Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein; Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein; and Ursula Plassnik, Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to the Swiss Confederation.[12][13] In addition to the executive committee, the advisory council also allows input from scholars at other universities and research institutes to lead new projects. Members of the advisory council include Ali Ansari, Professor of Iranian History at the University of St. Andrews, and William A. Maley, Professor of Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University.


The Institute organizes a number of courses at Princeton University, including "Theory and Practice of International Diplomacy" and "Topics in International Relations: International Crisis Diplomacy". These courses aim to provide undergraduate and graduate students with foundational knowledge about the causes and implications of geopolitical conflicts and crises.[14][15] In October 2018, LISD co-sponsored a new online edX course with Tel Aviv University entitled "HOPE: Human Odyssey to Political Existentialism".[16] The course explores various themes that define humanity.[17] Outside of coursework, students are able take part in various initiatives such as the Emerging Foreign and Security Dimensions (EFSD) Fellowship or the Program on Religion, Diplomacy, and International Relations (PORDIR).[18][19]


Faculty and Fellows[edit]

Faculty and research Fellows of LISD frequently publish in national and international media outlets.[20][21][22] Resident Fellows spend a year at Princeton University. Faculty and Fellows associated with LISD include:


LISD hosts a number of workshop, events, and seminars for Princeton-affiliated students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public. Most events are held on campus at Bendheim Hall, while some have been hosted by the Princeton Club of New York and the headquarters of the United Nations in New York.[23][24][25][26][27][28]


Major projects at LISD include State, Sovereignty, and Self-Determination, which addresses issues of boundaries, governance, and autonomy; Self-Determination and Emerging Issues, which focuses on self-determination as it relates to migration and the environment; and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which promotes dialogue on the region.[29] Funding for these projects and others comes from the Liechtenstein government, Princeton University, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.[30]

LISD also runs a number of research tools that provide scholars, think tanks, and governments access to original research. These tools include Encyclopedia Princetoniensis: The Princeton Encyclopedia of Self-Determination (PESD), Diachronic Global Corpus (DiGCor), and the Digital Interactive Regional Mapping and Information System (DIRMAIS).[31] DIRMAIS combines historical and contemporary data to visualize international crises.[32]


  1. ^ "Liechtenstein-US Relations". Liechtenstein in the USA.
  2. ^ "Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination". Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
  3. ^ "The Princely House Principality of Liechtenstein" (PDF).
  4. ^ Tomaselli, Alexandra ( Indigenous Peoples and their Right to Political Participation: International Law Standards and their Application in Latin America. Nomos Verlag. p. 84. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ "Self-Determination and Self-Administration: The UN Perspective". Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination.
  6. ^ Danspeckgruber, Wolfgang (2002). The Self-determination of Peoples: Community, Nation, and State in an Interdependent World. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 365.
  7. ^ "H.S.H. Prince Hans Adam II". Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination.
  8. ^ "Gift creates Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination". Princeton University News.
  9. ^ "Princeton Alumni Weekly, Volume 101". Princeton University.
  10. ^ Klieger, P. Christiaan (2012). The Microstates of Europe: Designer Nations in a Post-Modern World. Lexington Books. p. 51.
  11. ^ "Executive Committee". Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination.
  12. ^ "Advisory Council". Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination.
  13. ^ "The Princely House Principality of Liechtenstein" (PDF).
  14. ^ "Theory and Practice of International Diplomacy". Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination.
  15. ^ "Topics in International Relations: International Crisis Diplomacy". Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination.
  16. ^ "LISD's Uriel Abulof to Teach Open Online Course, "HOPE"". Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination.
  17. ^ "HOPE: Human Odyssey to Political Existentialism".
  18. ^ "Program on Religion, Diplomacy, and International Relations Now Accepting Applications for 2016-17 Student Fellows (Deadline: September 30)". Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination.
  19. ^ "EFSD Student Fellows, Emerging Foreign and Security Dimensions". Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination.
  20. ^ "Deputy Chief Minister tells Gibraltar's story at Princeton University's Institute for Self-Determination". Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation.
  21. ^ "The Prince vs. the 'Paupers'". Foreign Policy.
  22. ^ "Robert Gilpin, R.I.P." The Washington Post.
  23. ^ ""Women's Empowerment in South Sudan: Gender Responsive Peacekeeping in Practice"". Youtube.
  24. ^ "Women, peace and security - Lecture Series". United Nations Live.
  25. ^ "Public Workshop on "The Future of Migration within and from the African Continent"". Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination.
  26. ^ "Workshop: Priorities for the UN's Children and Armed Conflict Agenda in 2019". Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination.
  27. ^ "Hidden Victims: Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys in Conflict". Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination.
  28. ^ "Afghan representative visiting Princeton urges regional approach to foster stability". Times of Trenton.
  29. ^ "Projects". Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination.
  30. ^ "LISD Awarded Grant to Support Project Work on Afghanistan". Carnegie Corporation of New York.
  31. ^ "Research Tools". Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination.
  32. ^ Chow, Sarah. "Princeton University Brings Historical Context to International Crises with Cesium". Cesium.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°20′57″N 74°39′13″W / 40.34914°N 74.65362°W / 40.34914; -74.65362