Regime Theory and the Study of Outer Space Politics


Moon pictureIt is 30 years since regime theory emerged onto the IR intellectual scene, with the publication of articles and collected works by the likes of Stephen Krasner, Susan Strange, Oran Young and other bright minds on the subject. has wisely, in my opinion, taken the opportunity commission a series of essays reflecting on this research agenda and approach in 2013.

I was flattered to be asked to contribute the relevant blog on outer space regimes. In the brief article I elaborate on:

What outer space regimes are;

‘How, What and Why’ outer space regimes have developed, evolved, persisted and in some cases fizzled;

Highlighted some key concepts within regime theory that I think are still most useful in providing explanatory purchase over outer space politics (regimes as epiphenomenon/ intervening variables; formal and informal regimes; and regimes as diffuse, specific, or mediating/ nested).

Finally in the piece I give my opinion on what the key issues will be the future–both in outer space politics generally, and with regards to regime theory.

The full post is on both E-Ir here, and also as a Global Policy blog here.







*Stephen D. Krasner ed., International Regimes, a special issue of International Organization, 36(2) (1982).

Previous articleThe perils (and eventual success) of getting a work visa in the UK
Next articleInterview with a Space Policy Board Member: Who Owns the Moon?
Dr Jill Stuart is an academic based at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is an expert in the politics, ethics and law of outer space exploration and exploitation. She is a frequent presence in the global media (print, radio, television, documentary) and regularly gives lectures around the world. From 2013-2017 she was Editor in Chief of the Elsevier journal Space Policy where she remains on the Editorial Board. She is also on the Board of Advisors of METI International, conducting scientific research into messaging potential extraterrestrial intelligence. She is one of an elite number of people to be endorsed by the UK Home Office as an Exceptional Talent Migrant/ World Leader in her Field. In 2015 she was awarded the prestigious Margaret Mead Award Lecture by the British Science Association in recognition of her cutting edge research. She is trained in both domestic and international mediation and has done consultancy work for the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. She has a sub-specialism in women, peace and security and gender based violence. She is a Trustee of Luton All Women’s Centre.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here