Designing Governance Systems for Mars

Jim Dator

Department of Political Science, University of Hawai’i;

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Abstract:  How would you design a political system for Mars?  Will people export existing systems of governance, or will they seek to develop something new reflecting the different conditions and challenges?  Jim Dator teaches a course on comparative political systems at the University of Hawai’i in which he presents students with 6 different colonisation scenarios, ranging from government sponsored scientific missions to for-profit mining settlements.  He asks students to design a system of government which is appropriate to each.  How should people behave on Mars?  How will political structures reflect and encourage desired behaviours?  What rights will be associated with robots, AI systems, the provision of air and water, and to the natural environment?  In this talk Jim analyses the responses he receives from students to these questions, and considers what shapes their often conservative responses. 

PROFILE: Jim Dator is Professor, Department of Political Science, and Director, Hawai'i Research Center for Futures Studies, University of Hawai'i He is Chair of the Space and Society Division, and of the Academic Council, International Space University, Strasbourg, France; and a former President, World Futures Studies Federation. He taught at Rikkyo University, Tokyo for six years, at Virginia Tech, and at the University of Toronto. He consults with judiciaries throughout Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US.

Recent Publications:

Advancing Futures: Futures Studies in Higher Education. London: Praeger 2002

"Space Settlements and New Forms of Governance," Limes: Rivista Italiana di Geopolitican,. SP2/04,October 2004

"Futures of Identity, Racism, and Diversity," Journal of Futures Studies, February 2004, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 47-54

"Some in power, some in pain: A symphonic meditation on humanity and space," in Michael Rycroft, ed., Beyond the International Space Station: The future of human spaceflight. Dodrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002.

"Visions, values, technologies and schools," On the Horizon, Vol. 10, No. 4, 2002

"Judicial governance of the Long Blur," Futures, January 2001