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June 12: 8 am-10 am EST  

On June 12th, 2023, the Center for International Affairs and World Cultures (CIAWC) convened an international symposium on space diplomacy in the Hague with the University of Leiden.  Hosted by Mai’a Cross and Jan Melissen, the symposium featured interdisciplinary experts from the US, Asia, and Europe on the future challenges and opportunities of outer space exploration and cooperation.  Discussions aimed at policy and practitioner audiences from both the public and private sectors, and addressed major issues in international policy, governance, law, business, communications, security, materials, and sustainability.  This was the second in a series of workshops showcasing the research findings of CIAWC’s Global Spotlight Project on Space Diplomacy, which recently resulted in the publication of a special issue in the Hague Journal of Diplomacy.

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Program and Speakers

14:00-14:05: Welcome 

  • Jan Melissen, Leiden University & University of Antwerp 
  • Mai’a Cross, Northeastern University

14:05-14:30: Starting the Conversation: Challenges & Opportunities for Space Diplomacy  

  • Mai’a Cross, Northeastern University (United States) 
  • Saadia Pekkanen, University of Washington (United States) 
  • Moderator: Laura Bergshoef, NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands) 

14:30-15:00: Panel I – Space Diplomacy in a World of Geopolitical Competition 

  • The European Union: Alternatives for Geopolitical Competition 
    • Marianne Riddervold, Innland University of Applied Sciences, NUPI, and University of California Berkeley
  • China: With and Without the UN 
    • Kunhan Li, University of Nottingham Ningbo (China) 
  • Japan: Responding to Great Power Threats 
    • Saadia Pekkanen, University of Washington (United States) 
  • Moderator: Jan Melissen 

15:00-15:40: Panel II – Patterns of Cooperation and Negotiation 

  • Satellite Challenges: The Toughening of Weather Talk 
    • Mariel Borowitz, Georgia Institute of Technology (United States) 
  • Historical Perspective: Space, Arms Control and Disarmament 
    • Nikita Chiu, University of Exeter (UK) 
  • The Politics of Negotiating Agreements: the Artemis Accords 
    • Nancy Riordan, University of Massachusetts, Northeastern University (United States)
  • Materiality in Space Diplomacy: Assembling Internationalism 
    • William Stewart, University College London (UK) 
  • Moderator: Tanja Masson-Zwaan, Leiden University (the Netherlands) 

15:40-16:00: Youth Pitches on Space Diplomacy  

  • Joanne Ruiter – Netherlands Space Office 
  • Henry Boeree – MSc International Relations and Diplomacy, Leiden University 
  • Ian van den Broek – Space Generation Advisory Council 
  • Moderators: Jan Melissen and Laura Bergshoef 

16:00-17:00: Network Reception 

Speakers and Moderators

– Mai’a Cross, Director of the Center for International Affairs and World Cultures; Dean’s Professor of Political Science, International Affairs, and Diplomacy, Northeastern University, United States

– Saadia Pekkanen, Job and Gertrud Tamaki Endowed Professor, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Political Science, and Adjunct Professor at the School of Law, University of Washington, United States

– Kunhan Li, PhD History and Politics candidate, University of Nottingham Ningbo, China

– Marianne Riddervold, Professor of Political Science, Innland University of Applied Sciences, NUPI, and University of California Berkeley

– Tanja Masson-Zwaan, Asst. Professor and Deputy Director of the International Institute of Air and Space Law, Leiden University, the Netherlands (moderator)

– Jan Melissen, Editor-in-Chief of The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Senior Fellow in the Institute for Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University & University of Antwerp (moderator)

– Mariel Borowitz, Associate Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology and head of the Nunn School Program on International Affairs, Science, and Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, United States

– Nikita Chiu, Senior Lecturer in Innovation Policy, University of Exeter, UK

– Nancy Riordan, Ph.D. candidate, Global Governance and Human Security, researching Global Space Governance, University of Massachusetts; Part-time faculty, Political Science, Northeastern University, United States.

– William Stewart, Doctoral Researcher, University College London, United Kingdom