Will Planetary Defense Change a Realist World?
The emergence of international cooperation and a space epistemic community focused on advancing planetary defense is an unheralded accomplishment of the twenty-first century. The saga of planetary defense has even exceeded the dreams of functionalists, who believed that cooperation on technical matters could bridge political and social differences to tackle problems that afflicted humankind. Nevertheless, it would appear that planetary defense has not sparked a fundamental change in political thinking on Earth, or actually requires that sort of change to be successful. Defenses have advanced despite the existence of a world dominated by nation-states and traditional diplomatic norms and balance of power thinking. It remains to be seen, however, if further advances in space exploration in general and planetary defenses in particular will spark a more Cosmopolitan outlook, leading to the rise of Cosmopolitan institutions on Earth.
KeywordsRealism Planetary defense International cooperation Space epistemic community Cosmopolitanism
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