Southeast Asian Space Programs: Motives, Cooperation, and Competition
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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The developing countries of Southeast Asia are rapidly increasing their investments in space technologies and formalized national space agencies. The inherent dual-uses and broad applications of space technologies as tools of security and development and the geopolitical importance of Southeast Asia make this examination of small-state space programs useful in exploring a number of themes. This thesis seeks to determine the conditions under which ASEAN member states choose to pursue space programs as vehicles for cooperation and competition with each other and developed international space powers within the context of international relations theory. It analyzes Southeast Asian national space developments to date, the relationship between domestic and foreign policies in influencing national space policies and extra-regional cooperation, the extent of regional space cooperation within ASEAN, and the role of bureaucratic and epistemic space communities in fostering an ASEAN community. The thesis concludes that cooperative and competitive forces complement each other as they operate at various levels within a multi-scalar international network. Patterns of space cooperation and competition among Southeast Asian space programs balance these two activities, as well as regional centrifugal and centripetal forces, in a relatively peaceful, positive sum game for national and regional space development.