Welcome to PIIRS, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies.
International and regional studies have never been more important. We live in a globalized and yet highly unequal world — one with great opportunities and great constraints. We can celebrate and learn from the creativity and bravery of those around the globe, especially those who are creatively and doggedly advancing a more democratic, inclusive and sustainable world. But so too we have much to understand and redress, including climate change, health crises, democratic backsliding, economic precarity and racial injustice among other issues. Princeton University is fortunate to have faculty and students who are eager to understand the world in which we live. So too the University is fortunate to have the resources to support cutting-edge research and teaching. These are privileges not afforded all institutions around the globe. And, with that great privilege comes great responsibility. It is in this context that PIIRS has both an institutional and normative responsibility to interrogate the human condition writ large and to promote international engagement and collaboration. We aim to do so in various ways.
PIIRS offers a dynamic, generative, intellectual meeting place.
We self-consciously embrace and facilitate meaningful, rigorous, and creative forms of education and exchange, especially following the extreme disruption associated with the pandemic. The newly designed PIIRS website and Princeton International website are critical to this endeavor and we invite you to explore these pages.
- For students, we encourage you to attend PIIRS events, pursue minor/certificate programs, conduct research abroad, enroll in our Global Seminars, and propose new ways of becoming involved, for example, through the soon-to-be-launched undergraduate fellows program.
- For faculty, we rely on your intellectual initiative and leadership as you advance innovative research and teaching — including in our research communities, labs, and leadership for various centers and programs.
- For our visitors, especially the Fung Global Fellows program, we thank you for enriching our global conversations on campus and abroad.
- To the global community, we thank you for collaborating with us on pedagogy, research, and outreach, especially our strategic partnerships.
PIIRS combines the best of regional-international studies with thematic/problem-driven research.
With excellent centers, programs, research communities, and labs, PIIRS is home to exciting multidisciplinary programming for our students, faculty, and visitors. While the centers, programs, and labs revolve around regional-country hubs (China, India, Africa, Europe, Russia, South Asia, Brazil, and Japan) our research communities have focused on thematic and multidisciplinary inquiry across regions, including inquiry about democracy and autocracy, environmental sustainability, precarity, migration, world order, and global risk.
We will continue to support both place-based knowledge and thematically driven research, which together advance our understanding, interpretation, and explanation of key issues around the globe. To energize these campus-wide conversations, we have initiated a monthly Director’s Seminar Series that focuses on Global Existential Challenges; this academic year, the seminar features panels of Princeton faculty who deliberate core questions from a multidisciplinary and comparative perspective.
International research inherently raises ethical questions about what we choose to teach and study, where we choose to work, and how we do so.
We aim to forefront ethics in our teaching, research, and international partnerships. While older models were often extractive, we have the opportunity to forge a more collaborative production and sharing of knowledge with our colleagues around the world. PIIRS has the ability to imagine and effect a more inclusive model for doing and sharing research. We are committed to advancing a more ethically-collaboratively engaged process of teaching, researching and sharing our work.
Finally, we have much to celebrate. In this coming year, 2023, PIIRS will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. The Fung Global Fellows program will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. And, World Politics, housed at PIIRS, will celebrate its 75th anniversary. We look forward to celebrating these milestones in 2023!
It is an exciting time to be part of the PIIRS community. We invite you to join us and look forward to collaborating as we advance scholarly research, dynamic teaching and global engagement.
Deborah J. Yashar
Donald E. Stokes Professor of Public and International Affairs
Director, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies