Dark Skies: Space Expansionism, Planetary Geopolitics, and the Ends of Humanity


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.4 X 9.4 X 1.6 inches | 1.76 pounds

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About the Author

Daniel Deudney is a professor of political science and international relations at Johns Hopkins University. He has written extensively on international theory, political theory and global issues: nuclear, space, environment and energy. His book Bounding Power: Republican Security from the Polis tothe Global Village received the 'Book of the Decade' award from the International Studies Association.


"Deudney forensically examines the techno-political worldviews on which various kinds of space expansionism rest. He then systematically takes the arguments apart, showing the dreams of space expansionism to be science fiction, military adventurism, and the vanity projects of billionaires. After his tour de force, we are led back to where we began, here on Earth. An essential book that has been a long time coming." -- Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University in Canberra, and author of Defiant Earth

"I am a dyed-in-the-wool space cadet of long standing, so I am 'the enemy' as far as Deudney is concerned. Yet, this amazingly well-researched and thoughtful book provides a deeply sobering geopolitical reality check for the space expansionists. It is absolutely important that the expansionist program be challenged by the arguments assembled here, and so far there has been no such challenge, or at least nothing nearly so well-informed and bracing as this. Deudney has fired the opening shot in what could one day become the central debate about how humankind charts its future. A landmark achievement from perhaps the most original thinker writing in international relations today." -- Barry Buzan, Emeritus Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics

"Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever, ' wrote the rocketry pioneer Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in 1911. 'If humans are indeed in an infant state, then it also stands to reason that many-if not most-of their visions of the future are essentially infantile as well, ' writes Deudney today. His closely reasoned, deeply disturbing, and always fascinating treatise warns humanity to resist dreamy temptations to colonize-and most likely militarize-the solar system and to pursue instead 'space for earth." -- Walter A. McDougall, Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania, and Pulitzer-Prize winning author of the Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age