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Sept. 14, 2000

Gift creates Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination

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

The gift will expand Princeton'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 broaden their work and embark on new projects in such places as Kosovo, Kashmir, and Chechnya.

As a bridge between scholars, policymakers and diplomats, 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 Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the founding director of the new Institute.

He believes the Institute can advance imaginative compromises that recognize community identity and autonomy within existing states, in combination with regional integration. That approach, he said, could prevent 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 Associate Professor Stephen Kotkin, director of the Russian Studies Program, is exploring state power, borders, and self-governance in the region of 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 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, Professor Michael Doyle, director of the Center of International Studies; Professor Jeffrey Herbst, chairman of the Department of Politics; and Professor Gilbert Rozman of the Department 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 to assist in finding a peaceful solution for the situation in the Balkans.

In addition to these projects, an international conference evaluating the conceptual and practical implications of self-determination at the beginning of the 21st century is being planned, Danspeckgruber said.

The Institute is part of the Center of International Studies in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. 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 courses related to self-government, and will support related research by students and faculty members.

The Institute is an outgrowth of the Liechtenstein Research Program on Self-Determination, which was created in 1994. The research program already has produced numerous books and publications and has convened international conferences on self-determination attended by scholars, policymakers and diplomats.

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