Outer space as a geographical domain: A contribution to laying the foundations for astropolitics

Mihajlo Kopanja
2021 Medjunarodni problemi  
The paper presents an effort to contribute to the foundations of astropolitics by presenting the central characteristics of outer space as a geographical domain. Given that current international trends point to the increasingly active role of states and private companies in the utilization of space, understanding the opportunities and limitations that the environment of outer space poses on human action represents the foundation of a systematic analysis of the international politics of outer
more » ... ce. Starting from the assumption that space can be viewed as a geographical domain, similar to land, sea or air, the paper presents key physical characteristics of space and the central problem fields of the social constitution of space, which are then placed in the context of geopolitical thought. The paper is divided into three parts where the first part provides a brief history of astropolitical thought, the second presents the universe as a geographical domain by identifying physical and social properties of the space environment, and the third part observes the space environment through the ?ecological triad? of Harold and Margaret Sprout and Harvey Starr?s ?opportunity and willingness? framework to explain how the physical and social properties of outer space impact international politics. The author concludes that, since outer space will be a more and more important area in the future, academic study of international relations in space will be increasingly relevant, thus requiring knowledge of the basics of astropolitics, i.e., outer space itself and the features that characterize it as a geographical domain.
doi:10.2298/medjp2103401k fatcat:2gpamahkm5bn7nudmrsl5y76ni