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Department of Law

Law theses of the month: Vincent Seffinga

In the 'Theses of the Month' series, the EUI Law Department presents the remarkable work of its researchers and their impactful contributions to the field of law. This month, the Department features Vincent Seffinga who defended his thesis on 26 April under the supervision of Professor Peter Drahos.

07 May 2024 | Research

Vincent Seffinga_law theses of the month

Vincent Seffinga is a scholar from Amsterdam with a robust academic background including a bachelor's in law from the University of Utrecht and dual master's degrees in Public International Law and International and European Tax Law from the University of Amsterdam.

His thesis,  (Un)avoidable tragedy: the difficulty in realising outer space governance, analyses international space law and outer space governance. More specifically, Vincent researched why it is difficult to establish international space law that is sustainable and brings about a more egalitarian outcome. His main argument is that powerful states, notably the United States, driven by the pursuits of capital and national security interests, hinder the realisation of egalitarian outer space governance, both in near-Earth space and on the Moon.

His research, while not optimistic about the capacity of international law to bring about a more egalitarian and sustainable outcome due to the structural nature of the capital and national security interests, underscores the importance of persisting in the struggle for justice. By shedding light on these structural impediments, Vincent’s work brings a critical legal perspective to international space law. Through this perspective, his research opens the structural issues (capital and national security interests) analytically to show why they matter and how they can (or cannot) be contested. Moreover, his thesis represents an innovative endeavour to merge international space law with the discourse on global commons, bridging two domains that have traditionally remained disparate.

When asked about his inspiration for choosing this topic, Vincent credits his master thesis supervisor, Professor Janne Nijman, for steering him towards the field of international space law. His fascination with the realm of outer space governance was further nurtured through various academic pursuits and professional experiences, including his tenure at the European Space Policy Institute.

Looking ahead, Vincent aspires to continue his academic journey, with promising opportunities on the horizon.

Last update: 07 May 2024

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