Grand Strategy and Self-Determination

Event Date: 
Friday, November 21, 2014 to Saturday, November 22, 2014
Location: 
Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall

The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University will host a colloquium, “Grand Strategy and Self-Determination,” November 21-22, 2014, at Princeton University. The colloquium will consist of public sessions on Friday, November 21, and a private, by invitation only, session on Saturday, November 22.

Several issues will inspire and inform the colloquium. While crises and conflicts such as the war in Syria, ISIS, Ebola and events on Ukraine grab our (short term) attention, the number and severity of simultaneous conflicts suggest the possibility of broader and deeper problems in this interdependent and real-time interactive international system. Socio-economic and energy developments, terrorism, changing aspirations of leadership, health crises, the search for self-determination, the empowerment of individuals through social media, and the role of cultural-religious values combine to challenge traditional notions of the state’s span of control and monopoly on legitimate violence. Information technology and mobility have contributed towards a striving to “determine one's destiny” from Scotland to Hong Kong, while the state fights back and great power leaders have other objectives. The capability to manage such multiple international crises is simultaneously challenged by popular crisis fatigue, numbness to suffering, feelings of helplessness, and concomitant media and information saturation. Furthermore, we see the reemergence of spheres of influence and the realignment of great power interests. A new, more unstable order is emerging, while the current crises-management instruments appear inadequate. 

On Friday, November 21, the morning session will focus on grand strategy from a military, strategic and policy perspective, with permanent representatives from the UN Security Council addressing the issue of great power diplomacy today. In the afternoon, H.S.H. Prince Hans-Adam II. will deliver an address on the future of the state, followed by a discussion of current strategic challenges. This will be followed by a discussion of today's critical issues of self-determination and the role of soft power and human security with experts from Europe, Asia, and the US. 

The colloquium will celebrate 20 years of the study of self-determination at Princeton University. The public sessions of the event on Friday are co-sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School, the Center for International Security Studies, and the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. 

Event Documents: