Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Nicolas Nyiri

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This thesis examines the phenomenon of reconnaissance satellites and their role in the present arms race. While volumes of material have been written on the arms race in general, or the weapons race in particular, very little has been written on the role of satellites in this conflict and almost nothing has been written on the role of reconnaissance satellites. There is a need for much greater debate on the role of reconnaissance satellites in outer space. Reconnaissance satellites have, in part, rewritten the meaning of the arms race and they have contributed significantly to arms reductions talks between the two superpowers. This thesis examines reconnaissance satellites both in an historical and a modern context. Their legal status is examined. The political and military implications of reconnaissance satellites is discussed as well. In sum, this paper is a pioneering effort. It will explore a little-known topic in the hope that it will stimulate further discussion.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season