The new geostrategic context for space and the positioning of Europe

  • Bertrand de Montluc
Part of the Yearbook on Space Policy book series (YEARSPACE)


With the globalisation of the last few years placing the economy at the centre of world affairs, it is tempting to conclude that political entities and the State are outmoded concepts. The driving force behind globalisation is well known: it is the wave, or possibly cycle, as the “wave” may not necessarily progress in a linear fashion, of economic, commercial and financial liberalisation — both within States and internationally — together with technological revolutions and progress in transport, telecommunications, information technologies, etc. 497At the same time though, another phenomenon can be observed: throughout the world, national political entities are again making their presence felt. Both the re- emergence of independent States since decolonisation and the rise of new economic powers stimulated by globalisation tend to strengthen national pride as well as a claim for international recognition. The experts talk of the “geopolitics of globalisation”, of the “global puzzle”,498 or of the return of geopolitics and power struggles.499 As in previous times the principal factors are natural ones: resources, populations and geography. The international system may well be becoming increasingly abstract or fluid thanks to information and communications technologies, however it reveals a renewed emphasis on geostrategic identities and diplomacy based on spheres of influence (such as the bargaining power of energy-rich countries over greedy energy consumers). Power relationships are indeed subject to countervailing forces resulting from global interdependence. They can swing back and forth, up and down. And, all the players do not play by the same rules... But overall, the emergence of new players, whether major or minor, the growing difficulty of imposing the rule of law over brute force and the intensification of asymmetrical threats all open the way to what is called competitive “multipolarity” that is more likely to lead to tension, violent confrontations and a strategic arms race than the collective security that, it was hoped, would guarantee peace after the end of the Cold War.500


European Space Agency Space Policy National Pride Missile Defence European Interest 
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  • Bertrand de Montluc

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