$12 million gift establishes institute

A $12 million gift to Princeton from Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein will create the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, which will serve as a center for research and teaching on issues of self-determination around the world.

The gift will expand the University's existing Liechtenstein Research Program on Self-Determination, which also has been funded by Prince Hans-Adam II. It will enable Princeton faculty, students and outside experts to expand their work and embark on wide-ranging new projects in such places as Kosovo, Kashmir, and Chechnya.

As a bridge between academia and the practical world, the Liechtenstein Institute will engage both in fundamental research and in a practical search for solutions to real-world problems.

The institute is an outgrowth of the Liechtenstein Research Program on Self-Determination, which was created in 1994 and supported by Prince Hans-Adam II.


"By creating a non-polemical environment for research and discussion, we hope to help reduce the tumultuous and frequently violent process inherent in the search for increased autonomy," said Wolfgang Danspeckgruber, a lecturer in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the founding director of the new institute. He believes the institute can advance compromises that recognize community autonomy within existing states along with regional integration, preventing secession in all but the most extreme cases.

Researchers at the institute are beginning work on three major projects. An initiative launched in June by Danspeckgruber and Stephen Kotkin, director of the Russian Studies Program, is exploring state power, borders and self-governance in the former Soviet Union. The project is expected to conclude with findings and recommendations presented at a major conference in 2001.

In the second project, which is also supported by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, researchers will develop strategies to prevent and manage crises of self-determination. This project brings together Danspeckgruber, Michael Doyle, director of the Center of International Studies; Jeffrey Herbst, chair of the Department of Politics; and Gilbert Rozman, professor of sociology.

In the third project, researchers will search for solutions to the problem in Kashmir, where separatist groups have mounted an 11-year struggle against Indian rule. Predominantly Muslim Kashmir has been the main point of conflict between India and Pakistan since the partition of India in 1947.

At the same time, the institute will continue work to assist in finding a peaceful solution for conflict in the Balkans. An international conference evaluating the implications of self-determination at the beginning of the 21st century is planned for the coming academic year, Danspeckgruber said.

The institute will be part of the Center of International Studies in the Woodrow Wilson School. Each year, the institute will support at least one visiting postdoctoral fellow along with other outstanding scholars or diplomats. It also will encourage the creation of new courses related to self-government, and will support related research by undergraduates, graduate students and faculty.

The institute is an outgrowth of the Liechtenstein Research Program on Self-Determination, which was created in 1994 and supported by Prince Hans-Adam II. The research program already has produced numerous books and publications, and convened international conferences attended by scholars, political leaders and diplomats focused on self-determination.

In a letter to President Shapiro, Prince Hans-Adam II said he and his family consider the new gift "money well invested for the benefit of mankind."

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