Introducing the Cosmopolitan Approaches to International Law (CAIL) lens to analyze governance issues as they affect emerging and aspirant space actors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Third World Approaches to International Law or TWAIL is a useful starting point to assess space governance issues from the perspective of emerging or aspirant space actors and users because it helps to highlight imbalances and asymmetry around the supposed “legal right” to space benefit under Article I(1) of the Outer Space Treaty. However, a new analytical lens focused on Cosmopolitan Approaches to International Law or CAIL is proposed that can deconstruct the existing agenda in light of it obscuring the idea of shared benefits without attributing blame, scepticism or negativity, a charge often placed against TWAIL perspectives. This paper asks what one learns from the space law context that prompts us to reorient the frame of analysis that TWAIL perspective brings to bear and focus on a CAILian perspective. Primarily that a TWAILian approach is too one sided and polarized and that a CAILian approach acknowledges reciprocal responsibilities. It highlights the implications of the approach both for emerging and aspirant as well as established space nations specifically and for global space governance in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
JournalSpace Policy
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Benefit sharing
  • Developing countries
  • Space governance
  • Space law

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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