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Society Technology & Science

Maritime Strategy and Space Power Research

From 2017 research into theory and use of maritime strategic concepts to strategic space theory, space warfare and defense space policy was awarded and authorised by King’s to a PhD student as an relevant supporting project to his main PhD research. This project pursues a ground up research led project approach to explore fundamental questions to strategic space theory by revisiting the historical and contemporary relationship with maritime strategy.


  • Research the history of maritime strategic thought and theory concerning and/or related or relevant to space.
  • Scrutinise methodologies of extant scholarship with their interpretation’s and adaptions of strategic studies scholars, principally Sir Julian Corbett, Captain Alfred Mahan although not ignorant to others such as Carl Von Clausewitz.
  • Pursue research into historical events of the relationships between navies, maritime and space exploration, inc. ‘ the Space Race’, the weaponisation of space, space warfare, the influence of space on earth and related topics.
  • Develop theoretical and practical models that can be tried and tested using maritime strategic concepts in wargames for space warfare and strategic space theory.
  • Compare and contrast alternative perspectives, both globally and nationally, to agendas and competing schools of thought to strategic space theory which is part of the broader context of security and defence policy.
  • Support the development of a new, broad strategic thinking community for space, inc. networking maritime and naval focused scholars who have an interest or pursuit in a range of space-related interests.


  • Journal and scholarly publications, including conference presentations.
  • Series of lectures and events open to King’s staff, students, military and professionals.
  • Potential to further, develop and/or output research to strategic studies questions related to space’s role in strategy and warfare with an emphasis on a maritime model to help support and inform decision making.
Project status: Completed

Principal investigators

James W E Smith

Visiting Research Fellow


  • Funding body: King's College London and Affiliates
  • Amount: Undisclosed
  • Period: July 2017 - February 2022
  • Funding body: King's Global Research Grant
  • Amount: Undisclosed
  • Period: October 2017 - February 2022


  • maritimestrategy
  • wargaming
  • seapower
  • naval
  • navies
  • spacewarfare
  • spacepolicy
  • defencespacepolicy
  • strategicspace
  • strategy
  • space
  • spacedoctrine