Introduction: Planetary Defense as the Unique Historical Opportunity to Shape Our Shared Destiny

  • Nikola SchmidtEmail author
Part of the Space and Society book series (SPSO)


This introductory chapter aims to attune the reader to the topic of planetary defense through the lens of political science. The entire volume proposes an ambitious approach, a multipurpose lunar base, but the key condition for humankind’s peaceful expansion into space is based on cosmopolitan global governance, which we argue will not emerge easily. This chapter considers several political science problems in relation to cosmopolitan thinking, from development aid criticism to perceptions of influence by individuals in global politics and the claim that the anarchy we allegedly live in is caused by states themselves. As the authors progress through discussions of political science and theoretical concepts, several questions arise as to how we can discern moral from immoral behavior in political science theory. Finally, as our requirements are constantly changing, cosmopolitan thinking shows that humanity faces three sets of problems: sharing the planet, sustaining life and developing a rulebook. This chapter lays the foundation for further theoretical argumentation throughout the whole volume, which considers these three sets of problems using a multidisciplinary lens.


Morality Cosmopolitanism Planetary defense International relations theory Global governance 



This study was supported by the grant awarded by the Technological Agency of the Czech Republic, project TL01000181: “A multidisciplinary analysis of planetary defense from asteroids as the key national policy ensuring further flourishing and prosperity of humankind both on Earth and in Space,” and co-funded by the Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science, Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social SciencesCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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