UK Centre for Astrobiology

The Institutions of Extraterrestrial Liberty

This meeting was held in 2021.

The work from this meeting was published as a book with Oxford University Press in 2022.

You can access the book here.

The description of the book:

The exploration of space raises new problems in the expression of human freedoms. While the potential to establish new extraterrestrial settlements is thrilling, it also brings along a myriad of decisions to consider when addressing how these settlements should operate in a way which maintains human liberties. In this book, many dimensions of freedom in space are discussed. Aspects of liberty beyond Earth, from the near term: freedom to claim satellite orbits, to the very long-term: freedom on interstellar worldships, are considered. Gathering a diverse set of expertise from scientists, ethicists, lawyers, philosophers and social scientists, they seek to collectively answer questions such as: How should early governance structures be assembled? What are the ideal forms of institutions, from science academies to schools and governments? What freedoms can people expect in space and how will governance beyond Earth tread the fine line between authority and liberty? A compelling analysis of liberties on Earth, the solar system, and beyond - this text is bound to inspire the interests of academics and scientists alike.

Table of Contents: The Institutions of Extraterrestrial Liberty

Introduction, Charles S. Cockell

1:Are we ready for new liberties? Stewarding mutually assured autonomy through place-based experiments, Zarinah Agnew

2:The voyage of 600 years: The ethical governance of a worldship, Stephen Baxter

3:Art, institutions, and liberty in extraterrestrial communities, Annalea Beattie

4:Space for opportunity: Transcultural and transnational sources of extraterrestrial liberty, Mukesh Chiman Bhatt

5:Expansion of humanity in space: Utopia or dystopia?, Octavio Alfonso Chon Torres

6:The cosmolegal approach to human activities in outer space, Elena Cirkovic

7:Essay on the Scottish Islands, their lessons for extraterrestrial governance, and a sketch of the applications of this knowledge to settlements beyond Earth, Charles S. Cockell

8:The law of Mars’ colonization, Raphaël Costa

9:Brightening the skies: Institutional solutions to the societal and geopolitical risks of space expansionism, Ian A. Crawford

10:Human conflict resolution in a non-Terran context, Janet de Vigne

11:Scarcity in space: Challenges for liberty, Martin Elvis

12:‘We have come to Mars for good’: Science fiction, sovereignty, and the challenges of liberty, Simon Malpas

13:Securing the long-term peaceful use of space 187, Allan McKenna

14:Indigenous inclusion within the democratization of space, Tony Milligan

15:Decoupling physical and spiritual ascent narratives in astronomy and biology, Lucas John Mix

16:The law of Mars: The problem of violence mitigation in the development of extraterrestrial political institutions, Ethan Morales

17:Anarchy and authority: Summary justice on long-term space missions, Simon J. Morden

18:Making history cosmic, making cosmic history: Waking up to the richness of life’s potentials beyond Earth, or, how consequence and contingency became astronomical in scope, Thomas Moynihan

19:Only a paper moon: The Artemis Accords and future human settlements, Christopher J. Newman and William Ralston

20:Enlightenment beyond Earth, Anthony Pagden

21:Sovereign states, private actors, and (national) space laws. A rapidly evolving landscape, Stefania Paladini and Ignazio Castellucci

22:In space, nobody can copyright your scream, Burkhard Schafer

23:Justice in space: Demanding political philosophy for demanding environments, James S.J. Schwartz

24:Extraterrestrial governance: Why the constitutions of planets should be grounded in the constitution of their inhabitants, Michael Shermer

25:Global legal pluralism and outer space law: The Association of Autonomous Astronauts as a socio-legal community, Saskia Vermeylen

26:On libertarian communities in/around outer space: Is ecology an antithesis to liberty?, Matjaz Vidmar

27:Law and liberty on the Moon, Frans G. von der Dunk

28:Welcoming disability as necessary in space travel, Sheri Wells-Jensen

29:Regulation - a restraint of liberty or an enabler? Implementing sustainability guidelines for commercial space activities— normalizing the regulatory ‘race to the top’ in an ESG world, Joanne Wheeler

30:The case for space is liberty, Robert Zubrin