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IAS Fellows’ Seminar – Global Space Diplomacy – Cooperation and Competitions in Global Space and Disarmament Governance
October 17, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
IAS Fellow’s Seminar by Dr Nikita Chiu, University of Exeter.
As major powers rush to consolidate their space defence capabilities in recent years (e.g. the establishment of the Space Force in the US, and Space Command in the UK), adversarial narratives have once again dominated discussions on the topic of space. Contributing to the burgeoning debate on space diplomacy, this talk seeks to examine the historic interplay between diplomatic discussions on outer space and nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation (NDP). It studies three significant cases since the Cold War, when space technologies constituted a significant topic in diplomatic exchanges and in advancing foreign policy objectives related to global arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. The cases trace early negotiations between Washington and Moscow on using satellites to detect nuclear detonations, to multilateral attempts at establishing an International Satellite Monitoring Agency (ISMA), and conclude with a study on the use of satellite imagery in inspections under the auspices of the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM). Together, these cases shed light on the scope and conditions under which space discussions could be leveraged to advance international co-operation in arms control and disarmament efforts. Space diplomacy reflects a process that often involves actors beyond statesmen. Inputs from scientists, weapons inspectors, as well as technical specialists such as photointerpreters of satellite imagery, often have direct or indirect impact on actions, processes, and on occasion, results in foreign policy and diplomatic exchanges.
Places are limited and so any academic colleagues or students interested in attending in person should register here.