Making the case for space: employing political communication to set domestic and international policy
The landscape of space policy, much like the realm with which it concerns itself, is vast and largely unexplored. As political scientists, we have left this policy area mainly to those scholars, agencies, and companies working within the industry. While we occasionally consider it as part of other works on domestic and international science and technology policies or national defense issues, no comprehensive work to date has sought to understand how we communicate politically about space, from the micro to the macro level, and the importance of space exploration and technologies to the political realm. This dissertation begins this task through three articles designed to investigate political communication about space and to understand why it is important to study these questions. The first article focuses on American public opinion of space, the second deals with how space policy is set in the United States between the Executive and Legislative branches, while the third analyzes the role of the United States in governing space as a global commons, and theorizes how new paradigms in international relations in space will form. The breadth of these articles allows my dissertation to explore, at every level, how citizens, policymakers, and other stakeholders communicate politically about space, and how these communications translate into policy preferences, positions, and outcomes.