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Kategorie: Allgemein

The Emergence of Emerging Technologies

What are the key „emerging technologies“ in the Tech War? I’ve previously noted that the concept itself only rose to prominence in the 1980s and has become an important frame through which these kinds of „special“, politically salient technologies are viewed. And looking at the literature, emerging technologies share certain attributes: „(i) radical novelty, (ii) relatively fast growth, (iii) coherence, (iv) prominent impact, and (v) uncertainty and ambiguity“ (Rotolo et al. 2015: 1828). And I love Carla Alvial-Palavicino’s argument „that emerging technologies only exist in the future“ (2015: 135). But which specific technologies show up in political narratives? Sources We…

Advisory Board Member of the „Commons in Space“ Conference

Since 2021, the International Association for the Study of the Commons has organized an annual online conference on the „Commons in Space“. The organizers have kindly invited me to join the advisory board and I am happy to support this effort to bring the space policy and the global commons communities closer together. Incidentally, it is still possible to submit contributions to the 2023 conference which will be held on 15-17 November. All details are available at

Me at the „Critical Infrastructure Interdependencies“ Conference

I’m happy to present my research on Global Critical Infrastructures at another event in nearby Darmstadt following on from September’s SPS conference. The conference is entitled „Critical Infrastructure Interdependencies: A ‘System of Systems’ Approach“ and is organized by the KRITIS Research Training Group at TU Darmstadt. The conference will take place on 14-15 November 2023 and registration is open now. Sign up and meet me there!

The Discourse of Emerging Technologies

As part of our Tech War project, we are looking at technologies that attract particular political attention. In a previous post, I’ve sketched a theoretical framework how and why technologies become salient in international politics. But which technologies become status symbols? Previously, I have argued that emerging technologies are ideally suited for that. They are forward-looking and indicate modernity and capability. They are also uncertain and it is precisely this uncertainty that makes them amenable to the kinds of „leadership“ and „competition“ narratives we are interested in. Emerging technologies as Discourse We use „emerging technologies“ as a shorthand to refer to…

Updated Version of Space Debris Paper Available

A revised version of my paper „Tackling the Space Debris Problem: Practical Proposals from a Global Commons Perspective“ is now available for free on ResearchGate. Here’s the abstract: The growing amount of space debris raises risks of collision cascades in low-earth orbit which threaten to make orbital bands permanently unusable. But even though this has been known for over four decades, there has been little progress in governing the problem. This paper proceeds from the assumptions that space is a global commons and that calls for a centralized form of management are unlikely to succeed. In line with other recent…

Coaching in Higher Education

Did you know that I am not just a political scientist but also a coach for teachers in higher education? And that you can hire me? My specialties are inverted/flipped classroom scenarios and active learning techniques. You can find all the details and more on my new page for Higher Education Coaching.

Technological Competition in a Changing World Order

As global politics is evolving away from the “liberal international order” towards a “new bipolarity” or a multipolar world order, we observe a deepening and intensifying competition for technological leadership among major powers. You know the relevant terms – the „AI (Arms) Race“, „technological sovereignty“, the „Chip War“, etc. To be sure, technological competition has always been an element of great power politics – just remember the Space Race. Nonetheless, this competition for technological capabilities in „emerging technologies“ among major actors (the US and China in particular) has clearly intensified over the past decade or so. In select technological fields,…

New Developments in Space Debris Mitigation

I’m still not convinced that we are seeing clear momentum towards stronger outer space governance. However, there is movement on more specialized issues. Not in a centralized, formal-agreement-at-the-United-Nations manner but in a more polycentric way. I’m referring to two recent announcements regarding space debris mitigation (i.e. preventing new space junk from being created). Industry: The Space Industry Debris Mitigation Recommendations The first are the Space Industry Debris Mitigation Recommendations, published in June 2023 by the World Economic Forum. It is an industry effort, organized by the WEF’s Future of Space Network in collaboration with ESA and signed by 27 aerospace…