Securing Outer Space
International Relations Theory and the Politics of Space
Edited by Natalie Bormann, Michael Sheehan
Routledge – 2009 – 272 pages
The challenges that space poses for political theory are profound. Yet until now, the exploration and utilization of space has generally reflected – but not challenged – the political patterns and impulses which characterized twentieth-century politics and International Relations. This edited volume analyses a number of controversial policies, and contentious strategies which have promoted space activities under the rubric of exploration and innovation, militarization and weaponization, colonization and commercialization. It places these policies and strategies in broader theoretical perspective in two key ways. Firstly, it engages in a reading of the discourses of space activities: exposing their meaning-producing practices; uncovering the narratives which convey certain space strategies as desirable, inevitable and seamless. Secondly, the essays suggest ways of understanding, and critically engaging with, the effects of particular space policies.
The essays here seek to ‘bring back space’ into the realm of International Relations discourse, from which it has been largely removed, marginalized and silenced. The various chapters do this by highlighting how activities in outer space are always connected to earth-bound practices and performances of the every day. Securing Outer Space will be of great interest to students of space power, critical security studies and IR theory.
Introduction - Natalie Bormann and Michael Sheehan
1. Unbundling sovereignty, territory and the state in outer space: Two approaches - Jill Stuart
2. Space weapons – Dream, nightmare or reality? - Dave Webb
3. Critical astropolitics: The geopolitics of space control and the transformation of state sovereignty - Raymond Duvall and Jonathan Havercroft
4. The spaces between us: The gendered politics of outer space Penny Griffin
5. The lost dimension: A spatial reading of US weaponisation of space - Natalie Bormann.
6. Haunted dreams: Critical theory, technology and the militarization of space - Columba Peoples
7. The (power) politics of space: the US astropolitical discourse on global dominance in the War on Terror - David Grondin
8. Between blind faith and deep scepticism: The ‘weaponisation of space’ and the Canadian debate on ballistic missile defence - Miguel de Larrinaga
9. The mice that soar: Smaller states perspectives on space weaponisation - Wade Huntley
10. Profaning the path to the sacred: The militarisation of the European space programme - Michael Sheehan
11. Neo-Realism and the Galileo and GPS Negotiations - Iain Ross Ballantyne Bolton
12. Pol Sci-Fi 101: Lessons from science fiction television for global and outer space politics - Mark D Hamilton
Natalie Bormann teaches at the Department of Politics at Northeastern University, Boston, USA. Previously she held a position at the Watson Insititute for International Studies, Brown University. She is the author of National Missile Defence and the Politics of US Identity: A Poststructuralist Critique.
Michael Sheehan is Professor of International Relations at the University of Wales, Swansea. His publications include The International Politics of Space; International Security: An Analytical Survey; National and International Security; Balance of Power: History and Theory; The Arms Race; and Arms Control: Theory and Practice.