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Schlagwort: Outer Space

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

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…

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…

New Momentum in Outer Space Governance?

Is there new momentum in space law or the global governance of outer space more broadly? The German government seems to think so – in its recently released National Security Strategy, developing and updating the outer space regime features as one of the major space-related agenda items. Possibly this is just reflexive multilateralism without substance, which would hardly be surprising. (German governments have never seen a multilateral initiative they don’t like.) However, there are some indications of movement in the outer space regime, leading my SichTRaum colleague Maximilian Bertamini to call it „The Most Exciting Field of International Law“ in…

Outer Space in the German National Security Strategy

Two weeks ago, the German government published its first proper National Security Strategy. Among other things, it contained a substantial number of references to outer space – its strategic importance, the vulnerability of space assets, and the importance of international rules for this emerging domain. I’ve done a quick analysis of the ways that outer space is discussed in the National Security Strategy for the Blog of the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF). It’s in German so here is the executive executive summary in English: The political relevance of outer space is growing – this is not limited to the…

„Space, Scale and Global Politics“ wins Best Article Prize!

I am overjoyed to announce that my article „Space, Scale and Global Politics: Towards a critical approach to space in international relations“ was awarded the 2022 Best Article Prize in Review of International Studies. Given the excellent articles in RIS, this is an immense honor and you can imagine my excitement when the email came. I’ve had to sit on this for a month because of an embargo until today, when the awards are given out at the BISA conference. I unfortunately was not able to attend the conference in Glasgow to accept the award in person but I look…

The Peace Report 2023 is out

The 2023 edition of the Peace Report (Friedensgutachten) was published on Monday. The Peace Report is an annual joint publication by four major German peace research institutes – the Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC), the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF/HSFK), the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy Hamburg (IFSH) and the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF). I had the pleasure of contributing to the disarmament chapter alongside a team of PRIF researchers. My contribution was to summarize recent developments in arms control in outer space (which I’ve blogged about here) and on the various „balloon incidents“…

Sustainable Space – Talk in Bonn, 24 May 2023

Quick reminder: My talk on space sustainability and the governance of space debris and space traffic at CASSIS Bonn is in two weeks. This will be a nice follow-up to the second Schader workshop from March. I’m not sure if the event will be streamed or recorded but if you’re in Bonn, be sure to say hi. All the details:

Sustainability and Space

Following the first workshop in our „The New Space Age“ series at the Schader Foundation in January, we (the SichTRaum network, that is) just had our second workshop, this time on space sustainability, a topic that I myself keep coming back to. And despite a mass transit workers‘ strike, we had the best hybrid workshop I can remember. Over at Heise Online, Hans-Arthur Marsiske has again provided a very nice write-up (in German). Our third and final workshop in October will be on visions and utopias, a topic that has come up repeatedly during the first two events already.