Our book is very much a reflection of its times. Tremendous changes are occurring in all parts of the world, apparently driven by the consistent spread of ‘globalisation’. There are apparent similarities in the character of these changes, yet in no two places are they quite the same. While differences in scale can facilitate greater flexibilities in how regions and communities might respond, the confidence of the one in fashioning their own futures can be no greater than the other. Both transnational corporations and government policies have important implications for communities, yet the locus of power and the accountability for different kinds of response is dispersed. Both regional and national governments are part of this, as internationally negotiated environmental agreements, macro-economic policies, taxation and income redistribution, communications and border security all shape local and regional circumstances, even though outcomes can vary considerably.