This multidisciplinary course explores the principles and rules applicable to human space activities and how they are established. The institutions and treaties at the core of space governance are Cold War remnants, challenged by the new era of space exploration, where commercial corporations are gradually taking the lead in a race to harvest the riches of space, and are on track to become ‘corporate-sovereigns’. There is a consensus on the need to update the multilateral regimes but not on how to achieve it. The US is promoting its own governance vision with a series of acts that may set the foundations of the space economy - and hence also society - for generations to come. Military uses of space, key to modern warfare, face fragmented regimes, and the emerging space-cyber nexus is lacking any regime, though it is becoming the main mode of space warfare, as the war in Ukraine demonstrates.
Is outer space the new ‘Wild West’? Who makes the laws applicable in space? Can space regulation develop in a battered multilateral system? How are the legal foundations of the space economy different from those of the Earth economy? What are the regimes applicable to space warfare and space-cyber security? Can the emerging bottom-up institutions addressing various challenges complement multilateral and national regulation? These and other questions will be discussed in this course on the final frontier of international affairs.
Course offered at the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies in Spring 2023 semester
The course explores the international and domestic US regulation of space activities, including treaties, national laws, and the plethora of soft law instruments. From licensing of the launch and placing of satellites in Earth orbit, to space tourism, mining, and habitation, and to dealing with the challenges of militarization, debris, and space property rights.
The course is not yet scheduled
- Space Law Student Society at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law
- If you are interested in starting a student society, please contact us for support.
Students considering writing a thesis (bachelor, master's, or doctorate) on space governance/space law topic may apply to have one of our faculty as a supervisor or co-supervisor.
Graduate students may apply to be nominated as a Visiting Scholar (in residence), to undertake research and participate in and enrich the research life of the Space Governance Lab and the Ostrom Workshop. This opportunity is open also to international visitors, the duration of the visit may range from a week to a full academic year, and limited funding may be available.