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$12 million gift establishes institute

Prince­ton Week­ly Bul­letin

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.

“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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