Mission and Outreach

The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD) supports teaching, research, events, and publications about self-determination in a globalizing world. It interprets self-determination broadly, including the promotion of self-government, human and democratic rights, diverse individual, local and group identities, legitimate sovereignty, and international cooperation among national, nonstate, and international actors.

The Institute convenes scholars, policy analysts, practitioners, civil society representatives, and students to investigate and propose innovative and sustainable solutions to critical global problems. Its public lectures, seminars, workshops, and conferences allow diverse speakers from around the world to share their views with the Princeton community. It funds research undertaken by associated faculty, researchers, and students. It also partners with other programs at Princeton and at major global universities.

Within this mandate, the Institute’s activities range widely. LISD works regularly with United Nations diplomats to host policy proposals and track-two meetings addressing issues such as climate change, the International Criminal Court, and gender-based violence. It supports policy-relevant academic research on issues such as racial difference, election security, political violence, nationalism, and populist extreme-right movements. It also serves as Princeton’s foremost research center on European politics and society, the European Union (EU), and Eurasian politics—for which it maintains close relations with European leader and scholars.

LISD aims to prepare the students of today to be the leaders of tomorrow. It involves undergraduate and graduate students in all aspects of its projects: they help plan events, meet with visitors, participate in sensitive diplomatic discussions, travel abroad, and conduct research. Undergraduate and graduate seminars on identity in world politics that meet in different global cities each year.

The Institute was founded in 2000 through the efforts of Dr. Wolfgang Danspeckgruber and the generosity of H.S.H. Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein. Today it is part of Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs. Andrew Moravcsik, Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton, serves as Faculty Director.