Original Sin: Power, Technology and War in Outer Space w/ Bleddyn E. Bowen

7 Mar 2023 – 14:00 - 15:30 GMT
British International Studies Association (online)

Join the British International Studies Association online to discuss Dr Bleddyn Bowen’s new book on the military and political dimensions across 70 years of our Global Space Age and what it means for international politics today. A presentation with discussant Dr Aaron Bateman (George Washington University) will be followed by a Q&A session.

About the book

Space technology was developed to enhance the killing power of the state. The Moon landings and the launch of the Space Shuttle were mere sideshows, drawing public attention away from the real goal: military and economic control of space as a source of power on Earth.

Today, as Bleddyn E. Bowen vividly recounts, thousands of satellites work silently in the background to provide essential military, intelligence and economic capabilities. No major power can do without them. Beyond Washington, Moscow and Beijing, truly global technologies have evolved, from the ground floor of the nuclear missile revolution to today’s orbital battlefield, shaping the wars to come. World powers including India, Japan and Europe are fully realising the strategic benefits of commanding Earth’s ‘cosmic coastline’, as a stage for war, development and prestige.

Yet, as new contenders spend more and more on outer space, there is scope for cautious optimism about the future of the Space Age—if we can recognise, rather than hide, its original sin.

About the speakers

Bleddyn E. Bowen is Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Leicester, specialising in space policy and military uses of outer space. The internationally recognised author of War in Space, he consults on space policy for institutions including the UK Parliament, the European Space Agency, and the Pentagon.

Aaron Bateman is an assistant professor of history and international affairs. He is also a faculty member in the Space Policy Institute within the Elliott School of International Affairs. His research takes place at the nexus of science, technology, and  national security during the Cold War. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Diplomacy & Statecraft, Intelligence and National Security, the Oxford Handbook of Space Security, the Journal of Strategic Studies, the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Science & Diplomacy, and the Journal of Slavic Military Studies.

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