Book talk - Original Sin: Power, Technology and War in Outer Space by Bleddyn E. Bowen

This event will be in Zoom

Please join us online to discuss Dr Bleddyn Bowen’s new book on the military and political dimensions across 70 years of our Global Space Age and what it means for international politics today. A presentation with discussant Dr Aaron Bateman (George Washington University) will be followed by a Q&A session. 

About the Book

Space technology was developed to enhance the killing power of the state. The Moon landings and the launch of the Space Shuttle were mere sideshows, drawing public attention away from the real goal: military and economic control of space as a source of power on Earth. Today, as Bleddyn E Bowen vividly recounts, thousands of satellites work silently in the background to provide essential military, intelligence and economic capabilities. No major power can do without them. Beyond Washington, Moscow and Beijing, truly global technologies have evolved, from the ground floor of the nuclear missile revolution to today’s orbital battlefield, shaping the wars to come. World powers including India, Japan and Europe are fully realizing the strategic benefits of commanding Earth’s ‘cosmic coastline’, as a stage for war, development and prestige.

Yet, as new contenders spend more and more on outer space, there is scope for cautious optimism about the future of the Space Age—if we can recognize, rather than hide, its original sin.

Praise for the book

Original Sin is an important new book in space studies by Bleddyn Bowen. A must read.’ — Professor Asif Siddiqi, Fordham University, New York

‘A work from Britain’s leading thinker on astropolitics… Dr Bowen strips away any pretence that space is not already a war-fighting domain.’ — Tim Marshall, bestselling author of The Power of Geography and Prisoners of Geography

‘A fresh, timely and detailed account of the military-political origins of spacepower and the future of warfare in space.’ — Deganit Paikowsky, author of The Power of the Space Club

 ‘The perspective on space Bowen brings is meant to–and does–challenge the reader. There is much of value here to chew on, and any serious space power student or practitioner needs to pay careful attention to his arguments.’ — Everett Dolman author of Astropolitik

‘Original and compelling, this will be of interest to anyone seeking a history of technology’s role in space strategy.’ — John J. Klein, author of Understanding Space Strategy

‘Bowen persuasively demonstrates that space technology is the outcome of war, and driven by military applications. By exposing the hidden face of space, this book makes a critical intervention towards a peaceful world.’ — Alice Gorman, author of Dr Space Junk vs the Universe

‘A satisfying and insightful read from a deeply knowledgeable expert.’ — Tim Stevens, King’s College London

‘Bleddyn Bowen has delivered a remarkable account of the seventy-year-long militarised Global Space Age. Original Sin’s compelling narrative will be of great interest to scholars of military strategy, Cold War historians, and policymakers.’ — Aaron Bateman, George Washington University

‘Bowen is a recognised scholar in the niche, and very cool, field of “astropolitics,” and every page of this book is suffused with unrivalled knowledge of space technology and its implications for international relations.’ – Morning Star

 About the Author

Dr Bleddyn Bowen is Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Leicester, and is an expert in space policy and international relations in outer space. He has published research on strategic thinking and outer space, UK and EU space policy, UK and US military space doctrines, and the politics of orbital debris. Based on the classic works of military theory, his research challenges prevailing thought in military and civilian space communities and offers practical policy relevant insights for the space sector at the intersection of politics, military power, security, and technology.

Building on his expertise in the politics of outer space and the impact of space technologies on warfare, national security, and international relations, Dr Bowen has published several journal articles and a monograph on the military, security, and political dimensions of outer space. His expertise encompasses military and intelligence space activities, governance issues in outer space, space arms control, and the international political dimensions of space exploration.

Registration will close two hours before the event begins.

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