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2022-2024 Spotlight Project: Space Diplomacy

A quantum leap is underway in outer space as a domain of human activity. The global space economy has rapidly grown to almost US$400 billion in size, and will likely more than triple by 2040 (compared to 2017). There are hundreds of actors involved, from space agencies to private companies to start-ups. These developments have involved intense transnational and international cooperation, both across public and private sectors. It is an ideal time to take stock of how these developments are impacting international relations, particularly in terms of the practice and impact of diplomacy.  In this project, space diplomacy is understood to be the formal and informal interactions, agreements, and deliberations that occur among actors involved in space, whether conducted by professional diplomats or non-state actors. 

This global spotlight project has resulted in the publication of a double-length special issue on Space Diplomacy, in the Hague Journal of Diplomacy, with guest editors Professors Mai’a K. Davis Cross and Saadia Pekkanen.

On November 18th, 2021, Professor Cross convened a one day workshop at Northeastern bringing together 12 experts in the field of space diplomacy.  A program of the workshop can be found here. On June 12, 2023, the Center for International Affairs and World Cultures hosted a symposium on Space Diplomacy at the Leiden University in the Hague.