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Security Technology

Clausewitz in Orbit: Spacepower Theory and Strategic Education

Artistic depiction of an anti-satellite weapon of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). Image: Wikimedia

This article was originally published by Defence-In-Depth on June 10, 2015.

The politics of war and peace in space is an overlooked field. Space is a quiet and lonely place in war studies – despite space systems performing critical infrastructure roles in war, peace, politics, economics, and nuclear stability. In the mid-1990s John Sheldon and Colin Gray bemoaned the fact that there is no ‘Mahan for space.’ Neither writer apparently considered the possibility that they had answered their own plea, or in other words, that there is a Mahan for space: it’s Alfred Thayer Mahan. The 19th century navalist is one of a constellation of strategic theorists (such as Clausewitz, Castex, Corbett, to name the most prominent) whose work I am applying to create a spacepower theory intended to inform the diverse strategic problems conflict in this new medium might pose.

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Environment Keyword in Focus

Keyword In Focus: Space

The forgotten frontier? photo: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center/flickr

One of they key commons of tomorrow and an out-of-sight battleground for geopolitical rivalries and national aggrandizement, space deserves a lot more attention than it gets. To put the spotlight on this overlooked issue, we present to you the ISN Digital Library holdings on the keyword ‘Space‘- let us know what you found particularly interesting and enjoy exploring the true frontier of international affairs.

Some highlights include:

  • Another ESPI paper on how to combat piracy using space applications.
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Uncategorized

New ISN Partner: European Space Policy Institute

European Space Policy Institute

We are happy to announce that the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) has joined the ISN partner network.

Based in Vienna, ESPI provides decision-makers with an independent view and analysis on mid- to long term issues relevant to the use of space, according to its mission. The Institute, led by Prof Dr Kai-Uwe Schrogl, supports a network of experts and centers of excellence working with ESPI in-house analysts.

The ISN Digital Library features two publication series from our newest partner and as we go on, more and more ESPI publications will be included:

  • ESPI Reports are in-depth studies, which combine thorough independent analysis with perspective and vision as well as policy advice. See for example Spyros Pagkratis‘s report on  issues and trends in space policy 2009/2010, or the study by Jana Robinson on the role of extraterrestrial transparency and confidence-building measures.
  • ESPI Perspectives are short papers, presenting concise analyses and commentary or innovative ideas in the field of space policy. See for example the Perspective by Marcus Hornung, who argues that space might significantly contribute to the creation of a European identity, or the one by Max M Mutschler, who applies lessons learned from the Ottawa process to space-based weapons control.

We are honored to welcome ESPI as a partner. It will significantly enrich our information services in the areas of space policy and space security.