Astropolitics and International Relations

  • Bleddyn E. BowenEmail author


What does the world of Thucydides have in common with that of Wehrner von Braun or Sergei Korolev; of the realm of the trireme with the Delta IV rocket? Much like the popular misconception that satellites in orbit have ‘escaped’ the influence of Earth’s gravity, there is a common perception that outer space is a politically different or separate realm to Earth. In truth, however, our affairs as a species in outer space have not escaped the influence of homo politicus; reaching outer space is not necessarily humanity’s road to absolution. Astropolitics is what humans seek to make of it. So far, politics in space reflects some of the prevailing features of international relations in an anarchic system that dates back to antiquity. The major powers of any international system tend to act according to fear, honour and interest; and it should not be assumed that an expansion of a political economy to deep space will alleviate such motivations. There may be nothing politically new around the Sun.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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