LISD's Program on Religion, Diplomacy, and International Relations (PORDIR) convened the conference, "Religion and Self-Determination," June 16-18 in Vienna, Austria. This was the fourth annual PORDIR conference, and the final event of LISD's 10th anniversary year. Previous PORDIR conferences focused on religion in crisis diplomacy (2010), religion in development (2009), and the influence of religion and religious beliefs in the conduct of international diplomacy and power politics (2008).
The objective of the 2011 PORDIR colloquium was to analyze issues pertaining to the nexus between religion and self-determination, as events around the world make it clear that calls for better governance, democratization, and human rights are likely to become louder in the years to come. Special consideration was given to the Middle East, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf. The push to “determine one’s destiny” and the rising emphasis on faith are inextricably linked, and this colloquium explored this relationship through presentations by PORDIR fellows and roundtable discussions with practitioners, diplomats, and scholars.
LISD created the Program on Religion, Diplomacy and International relations in 2007 in response to the undeniable role religion currently plays in interstate and intrastate conflicts and aspects of international affairs. The program offers students and faculty at Princeton University the opportunity to study, reflect, and generate ideas concerning the multiple intersections of religion, diplomacy, and international relations. The project currently includes a student fellowship program, weekly seminar series, and annual conference. The program is co-directed by LISD Director Wolfgang Danspeckgruber and The Rev. Paul Raushenbush, Senior Religion Editor for the Huffington Post and former Associate Dean of Religious Life at Princeton University.