This book analyses the rationale and history of space programs in countries of the developing world.
Rather than merely describing the programs and their technical details, the book places these programs within the context of international relations theory and foreign policy analysis. In addition, the author categorizes them into tiers of development based not only on each program’s level of technology but on how their space program fits within the country’s overall national security and/or development policies. Moreover, it places these programs into an historical context by explaining the evolution of earlier space programs in the politics of the international system, which allows the author to compare the evolution of these later programs and to demonstrate the logical thread of continuity in the political rationale for space programs generally.
As such, the main themes of the book are that the growth of space programs — from the earliest days of the space race until today — have followed clearly observable patterns that adhere to rational political goals, and that whenever technologically and politically possible, space programs form one leg of what the author terms the 'Missile-Space-Nuclear Triad'. Every capable state, developed or developing, has pursued this triad, whether successful in its ultimate implementation. The main objective of the book is to demonstrate that the programs and ambitions of developing countries’ investment in the expensive area of space activities is predictable and understandable from the standpoint of international relations theory and the politics and history of the international system. Lastly, the book demonstrates that the emergence of this plethora of space actors is in line with the reshuffling of state power and international relations in the post-Cold War system.
This book will be of much interest to students of space power and politics, development studies, strategic studies and international relations in general.