22 November 2016. A new contribution to the series Voices from the Space Community (previously known as ESPI Perspectives) is now online. Tomas Hrozensky, PhD. Student at the Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia and Visiting Scholar at the Space Policy Institute of the George Washington University, reflects about the concept of Space as a soft power tool for Europe.
“The ability of a country to make other countries follow its example or to persuade them to do what it wants without coercion has its place in International Relations Studies for more than two decades. Using the words of Joseph Nye, this so-called soft power is as important as hard power for a state to stand its ground in world politics. Realizing the potential of space activities in exercising soft power is not a revolutionary idea. In fact, there are clear, either past (U.S.-Soviet space race in 1960s) or present (some of the Chinese or Indian achievements in space exploration) examples of how valuable could be utilizing space achievements in increasing the attractiveness and reputation of a state. However, debate about space being utilized in exercising soft power seems rather quiet in Europe. Since the European Union as a global actor builds in world politics primarily upon its soft power, this paper deals with the question whether or not could deeper linking of space to soft power for European states be worthy and viable decision.”