Geopolitical Cultures of Outer Space: The British Interplanetary Society, 1933-1965

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    Abstract

    This paper identifies and critically examines the British Interplanetary Society’s geopolitics of outer space from 1933 to 1965, presenting a critical astropolitics of outer space in contributing to the critique of neo-classical astropolitics. The paper identifies three distinct periods in the changing geopolitical outlook of the BIS, the first being the idealist internationalism of the early years of the Society, the second concerning narratives surrounding the formation of the International Astronautical Federation, and the third articulating Commonwealth collaborations in promoting British-led spaceflight research. The paper concludes by suggesting that the early idealism of internationalism in spaceflight research became diminished and contingent by the mid-1960s in the context of the changing geopolitical realities of the post-war period, and argues for increased academic engagement with geopolitical cultures of outer space.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)452 - 473
    Number of pages21
    JournalGeopolitics
    Volume22
    Issue number2
    Early online date14 Nov 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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