The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD) supports teaching, research, events, and publications about self-determination in a globalizing world. The Institute interprets self-determination broadly, subsuming the promotion of self-government, sovereignty, security, diversity, human and democratic rights, group identity and cooperative international solutions among national, nonstate and international actors.

The Institute convenes academic experts, policy analysts, practitioners, politicians, civil society representatives, and students to investigate critical global problems and to find innovative and sustainable solutions to them. It funds research undertaken by its own staff, associated Princeton faculty, and our global partners. Its public lectures, seminars, workshops and conferences that bring a diverse group of experts and policy makers from around the world to Princeton University to share their views with students and members of the wider community.

Though it supports work on both global and US domestic issues, the Institute also serves as Princeton’s foremost research center specifically focused on European politics and society, the European Union (US), and Eurasian politics. The Institute focuses particularly on the challenge of self-determination in a diverse continent. Over the past decade, LISD has hosted many top leaders from the European and EU at Princeton.

Within this mandate, the Institute’s activities range broadly. Over the past decade, for example, LISD has worked with UN diplomats to host policy proposals and “track two” meetings addressing issues such as climate change and the International Criminal Court. It manages a real-time database reporting political violence in the US. It supports policy-relevant academic research to trace historical legacies that divide Americans along racial lines, to identify international “best practices” in assuring election security, and to assess the impact of populist extreme-right parties and politicians on foreign policy.

The Institute seeks to prepare the students of today to be the leaders of tomorrow. To that end, it seeks to involve undergraduate and graduate students in all aspects of its projects, whether by helping plan events, meeting with prominent visitors, participating in sensitive diplomatic discussions, traveling abroad, or conducting research. It sponsors 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. It partners with a number of other programs at Princeton and with major global universities.

Andrew Moravcsik, Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton, serves as Faculty Director.