Utopia(s), Outer Space Law and Ecology

Matjaz Vidmar, Saskia Vermeylen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The seeming remoteness of Outer Space has enabled Earth-bound humans to view the expanse of the off-Earth space as terra nullius – no-one’s land or empty. This leads to a spectrum of socio-technical utopias about multi-planetary futures, with human settlements on the Moon, Mars and extraction of minerals form asteroids, to name but a few. However, such narratives, that are steeped in frontier thinking of expanding territorial conquest, foster resurgence of past approaches to places deemed un-occupied merely by the virtue of not belonging to the legal framework applied by the explorers/invaders. The increasing privatisation of access to Outer Space and its resources is framed with a sense of such “entrepreneurs” (Vidmar, 2019) unquestioned entitlement to yet “un-occupied” places, reaffirming the capitalist ideology of growth through expansionist, mercantilist and colonial means.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEASST Review
Volume41
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022

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