Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-v5vhk Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-19T21:33:35.636Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Taking sovereignty out of this world: space weapons and empire of the future

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 2008


Programs to deploy weapons in orbital space have important implications for international relations. In this paper, we analyze the constitutive logic of three modes of space weaponization currently being pursued by the United States – space-based missile defense, space control, and force application from orbital space. We show that these technologies of killing, when bundled together, constitute a new form of centralized sovereign power in a context of de-territorialized sovereignty. This is a new type of international political society, which we call empire of the future, distinct from and more ominous than the de-centralized form of Empire theorized by Hardt and Negri and the modern expression of classical hegemony now widely debated in discussions of putative American empire.

Research Article
Copyright © British International Studies Association 2008

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)