The Space Power and Policy Applied Research Consortium (SPPARC) is a group of researchers engaged in studying, understanding, and analysing the social, political, and strategic impact of space on people’s lives, their political behaviour, and the interactions between state and non-state actors. Our work encompasses research on a number of key areas, including:
We are particularly interested in the decision-making process that leads to creation of policies centred on the use of outer space, the operation of space assets, and the long-term implications of space activities. This includes space situational awareness, space resource utilisation, planetary protection, cultural heritage and environmental management.
What is “space power”, how can we measure it, and what are the political consequences of space activities? We explore these and other related questions by analysing space activities using both a Comparative Politics and an International Relations perspective, given that we are interested in the internal political dimension of space activities and in the implications within the international arena. From an international perspective, we study the consequences of space activities for relations between countries, as well as the overall impact of space within the global order. From an internal point of view, we study the political processes that lead to higher or lower space engagement, consequences to the political behaviour of individuals, and implications for decision-making. We are also interested in the consequences of the interaction between private and state actors.
Defence and Security
Modern societies rely on space assets to function. Financial, economic, social and military activities all need reliable and resilient space infrastructure to function properly. From telecommunications to bush fire tracking, our society benefits from the use of space technology on a daily basis. Space assets, however, are vulnerable to a number of malicious activities, including anonymous cyberattacks. We study and analyse the vulnerability of space assets and devise strategies and solutions that defence forces can implement to maintain the integrity of space infrastructure of strategic importance.