This text argues that the current information age renders the geographical underpinnings of our legal and political systems irrelevant. With the global community in instantaneous contact, power no longer operates hierarchically from the top down. This has serious consequences for democracy as we know it. The text explores institutions such as the European Union that attempts a response to this new age, arguing that the failure of such organizations shows that no political system can offer a complete answer. It points to such forces as ethnicity, relgion, race, ideology, corruption and tribalism, all of which threaten the viability of the current system, all of which offer a possible basis for community in a world no longer dominated by two rival superpowers. The book goes beyond the traditional separation between domestic and international affairs, addressing the social and politcal consequences of globalization. It describes the way the world's assorted groups of human beings will have to order their relations in this new era of huge trade, mass travel, instant communication: what the author calls the new "empire", a decentralized Rome of the electronic age.