Thematic Projects

The project on State, Sovereignty, and Self-Determination addresses issues of boundaries, identity, variants of autonomy, governance, self-determination, self-determination's potential devolutive and state-shattering capabilities, and the emerging version of self-determination as "defining one's own destiny." Areas of focus in this project have included the Balkans, South Asia, the European Union, and the former Soviet Union.

The Crisis Diplomacy project studies the emergent "new" diplomacy of the twenty-first century by considering how post-Cold War global interconnectedness, non-state actors, and challenges from terrorism and piracy to humanitarian crises and pandemics demand an altered conceptualization and practice of "traditional" diplomacy.

PORDIR explores the influence of religion and religious beliefs on international diplomacy, power politics, crisis and conflict management, and other activities of state and non-state actors.

The project on Generational Perspectives on National and International Security aims to offer an audible voice to the next generations of leaders, in order to develop an inclusive definition of “security” while fostering dialogue and mutual trust within and across generations regarding domestic and foreign security challenges. The project objective is to provide young people with the opportunity to develop effective international collaboration on contemporary security issues and to better understand how perception informs reality. It is a "self-directed and self-initiated" undertaking. 

The project on Women in the Global Community examines women’s participation in and the functioning of gendered structures and norms in the international system, focusing especially on economic activity, institution building, human rights, and security.

The International Criminal Court initiative investigates the role, responsibilities, and rights of the ICC in the global legal order and continues the “Princeton Process on the Crime of Aggression” dialogue that began in 2004 when LISD first hosted the Intersessional Meeting of the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression.

Regional Projects

The project on the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe contributes to the regional organization's security dialogue, with a particular focus on emerging dynamics of security and generational perspectives. 

The project on Afghanistan and the Region is a multi-year, multi-phase initiative that focuses on state, security, and capacity building in Afghanistan from domestic, regional, and geopolitical perspectives. It is funded in part by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The project on Central Asia and the Caucasus focuses on issues including security, governance and corruption, energy policy and economic development, drug trafficking, human rights, and regional stability and power dynamics.

The Arctic initiative is an interdisciplinary, multi-phase project focusing on issues including energy, natural resources and environmental concerns, strategic interests of the Arctic States, law and policy development, self-determination of indigenous peoples, and the global shipping trade.


DIRMAIS is a framework that overlays historical and modern maps, satellite imagery, and nonvisual data, providing reliable visual information on regions in distress and allowing the simultaneous comparison of data from different times and sources.

PESD is an internet accessible encyclopedia of definitions, case studies, and analytical essays on subjects related to the self-determination by leading academics and practitioners across various disciplines and regional specialties.

The Diachronic Global Corpus (DiGCor) seeks to understand the global flow of political ideas. We know ideas matter, but how do they travel? DiGCor uses “text as data” to answer this question through precise analysis of text, speech, and natural language on a large scale.