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The Hague Space Diplomacy Symposium

Monday 12 June 2023
Wijnhaven / online

The Hague Journal of Diplomacy invites you to this unique public symposium on space diplomacy. The size of the global space economy has skyrocketed, and by 2040 is expected to more than triple in value. In this new race to space, there are hundreds of actors involved, from space agencies to private companies and start-ups. Clearly, a new horizon approaches, one in which outer space is a domain of regular human activity.

This development has often required intense transnational and international cooperation across public and private sectors. As the global space economy rapidly expands, and ambitious projects such as Artemis and Gateway lay the foundations of the path to Mars, international cooperation has never been more essential. At the same time, competition in space and increasing geopolitical rivalry lend urgency to the need for coordinated diplomatic responses.

This symposium at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs is held in collaboration with Northeastern University's Center for International Affairs and World Cultures and the International Institute of Air and Space Law at Leiden University. It coincides with the launch of a Special Issue on Space Diplomacy of The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, guest edited by Professors Mai’a K. Davis Cross (Northeastern University) and Saadia Pekkanen (University of Washington).

14:00-14:05 Welcome Jan Melissen, Leiden University & University of Antwerp
14:05-14:30 Starting the Conversation: Challenges & Opportunities for Space Diplomacy 

Mai'a Cross, Northeastern University, United States

Saadia Pekkanen, University of Washington, United States

Laura Bergshoef, NRC Handelsblad, the Netherlands (moderator)


14:30-15:00 Panel I: Space Diplomacy in a World of Geopolitical Competition Jan Melissen (moderator)

The European Union: Alternatives for Geopolitical Competition

Marianne Riddervold, NUPI (Norway) and UC Berkeley (United States)

  China: With and Without the UN Kunhan Li, University of Notthingham Ningbo, China
  Japan: Responding to Great Power Threats Saadia Pekkanen, University of Washington, United States
15:00-15:40 Panel II: Patterns of Cooperation and Negotation Tanja Masson-Zwaan, Leiden University, the Netherlands (moderator)
  Satellite Challenges: The Toughening of Weather Talk Mariel Borowitz, Georgia Institute of Technology, United States
  Historical Perspective: Space, Arms Control and Disarmament Nikita Chiu, University of Exeter, UK
  The Politics of Negotiating Agreements: The Artemis Accords Nancy Riordan, University of Massachusetts, United States
  Materiality in Space Diplomacy: Assembling Internationalism William Stewart, University College London, United Kingdom
15:40-16:00 Youth Pitches on Space Diplomacy Jan Melissen and Laura Bergshoef (moderators)

Joanne Ruiter – Netherlands Space Office

Henry Boeree – MSc International Relations and Diplomacy, Leiden University

Ian van den Broek – Space Generation Advisory Council

16:00-17:00 Networking Reception



The seminar features experts on space related issues in international relations and diplomacy from Europe, the United States and Asia and will bring together a varied group of stakeholders, practitioners and space enthusiasts.

Join us in this expert conversation on the future of international relations in outer space.

  • Engage in discussions on the complex interplay between space and diplomacy.
  • Learn about trends and developments in space exploration and cooperation.
  • Network with fellow professionals, scholars, and experts.

To register for the Space Diplomacy Symposium and access detailed event information as it becomes available, please visit our registration website, here.

We look forward to seeing you in The Hague!


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