The uncontrolled growth of the space debris population is an environmental challenge. The several major debris-making events at the beginning of the 21st Century suggest that the existing space governance regime encourages self-interested state and non-state actors to freely access and make use of outer space without credible restraint, and lacks the robustness to hold these entities directly accountable and liable for their polluting activities. These events also show that the debris problem is an externality produced by human activities which can over time create a type of social dilemma called the 'Tragedy of the Commons'. This book considers the shortcomings of the current outer space regulatory regime and proposes alternative governance arrangements. It uses insights from the works of Garrett Hardin and Elinor Ostrom - who developed the most widely used institutional designs to manage terrestrial and small-scale common-pool resources. This book constructs theoretical frameworks to determine if either Hardin's or Ostrom's prescriptions can be so crafted to provide an alternative space governance regime, and address the debris problem.
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