Over the last fifty years the world’s population has doubled. Global wealth has tripled. These changes altered the nature of the global system. The book tries to track this impact on the environment, on the energy consumption, on the equality or inequality of income within and between states, on the use of war and of other organised forms of violence, etc. Have these developments brought progress, and if so, how could one measure it? Due to the growing density of world-wide linkages, the global system has become very complex. It needs governance so as to be stable and to remain evolving. International governmental and non-governmental organisations, trans-national enterprises, the US acting as global hegemon – all have a role in governance, as do states which remain the most important global actors. However, global governance is insufficient still. The scope for social/political choice has widened. Yet we do not have the tools to rule out those options that would have truly disastrous consequences.