(EN) First Space Colony: what political system could we expect?

Nikola Schmidt, Petr Boháček

Article in print


The article argues that near future space colonization missions exceeding certain number of colonists raise new questions about social organization and colony governance challenges. While small crewed missions can be governed by a mission commander, dozens of people living on another celestial body will naturally create a community and hundreds will require intentional implementation of a governance model as such colony will become a society. We assess in detail possible implications of four theoretical approaches to the space colonies governance that reflect current debates in the spaceflight community: governance by science and engineering, libertarianism, national exceptionalism and cosmopolitanism. While we openly argue for cosmopolitan ideas to be part of any space related governance questions, we build the argument on Ulrich Beck’s thoughts that cosmopolitan outlook should become part of our current territorially divided national identities as they both are mutually constituted. The article shows how each governance approach has certain drivers capable to proceed with space colonization, while each of them is short enough to provide sustainable future without possible horrible collapse of the colony. In the end, we introduce a consistent cloud of thoughts raising various dilemmas to trigger a debate over particular models that space colonies should be governed by rather to propose a complex universal governance model. It helps us to demonstrate why cosmopolitan ideas are so important while the energy in business or national exceptionalism or scientific ingenuity is necessary as well.