This book provides a comprehensive discussion of the nature and impact of globalization in current times. It offers an analysis and critique of the major theories of the world system, whilst developing an original position of its own through a reworking of structurationist and institutionalist analysis. A feature of Axford's analysis is his consideration of several different dimensions along which globalizing tendencies have emerged. In addition to economic interdependence, the book concentrates upon political and cultural globalization. It does so through reference to a wide range of illustrative materials, including the idea of a new world information order, the European Union as a new sort of political space and the Islamic banking system as an instance of the localization of global cultural products. The Global System will be of interest to all those concerned with the phenomenon of globalization and will be of value to students in politics, economics and cultural studies.