Cosmopolitan Rationale for Planetary Defense

  • Nikola SchmidtEmail author
Part of the Space and Society book series (SPSO)


An asteroid threat of a significant magnitude impacts the lives of every single person on Earth, as well as every single non-human lifeform on the planet. The issue is inherently cosmopolitan, as we are all undeniable equal in the face of such a threat. The following chapter introduces the reader to the evolution of cosmopolitan thinking over the centuries or even millennia, demonstrating how particular philosophers have thought about the principles of cosmopolitan equality. Immanuel Kant stands as the icon of cosmopolitan thinking; he detached the cosmos from the rule of law and introduced the human as a cognitive agent. Ulrich Beck introduced key concepts that we use throughout the volume, such as national and cosmopolitan outlooks as well as the prison error of identity, which explains how falsely we align with social groups according to political will but not according to rational consequences. Finally, Anthony Burke’s recent security cosmopolitanism is explained as the global security imperative. This chapter is the theoretical foundation of the volume’s core message supporting a planetary defense policy as a strategic necessity to survive and flourish.


Cosmopolitanism National outlook Cosmopolitan outlook Security cosmopolitanism Planetary defense 



This study was supported by the grant awarded by the Technological Agency of the Czech Republic, project TL01000181: “A multidisciplinary analysis of planetary defense from asteroids as the key national policy ensuring further flourishing and prosperity of humankind both on Earth and in Space,” and co-funded by the Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science, Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social SciencesCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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