'Other spaces': Constructing the legal architecture of a cold war commons and the scientific-technical imaginary of outer space

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Abstract

In this article, I seek to develop the argument that the law of outer space, as it was to be developed during the 1960s and 1970s, configured outer space as a 'commons' in order to displace two prevailing 'dystopic' socio-technical imaginaries that were to be associated with the Cold War. One of these was that outer space might become a place of warfare - and, more specifically, a warfare of annihilatory proportions between the two main protagonists of the Cold War; the other, that it might be the object of 'primitive accumulation'. Drawing upon the work of Herbert Marcuse, I argue that, whilst the nascent code of outer space visibly sought to repress both of these possibilities, it did so by bringing into play a particular 'technological rationality', in which each of these aversions were to reappear as sustaining configurations - as what might be called the rational irrationalities of a Cold War commons.

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APA

Craven, M. (2019, July 22). “Other spaces”: Constructing the legal architecture of a cold war commons and the scientific-technical imaginary of outer space. European Journal of International Law. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/ejil/chz024

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