The case studies discussed in the previous section provide a window on the geopolitics of resources and their place at the heart of the modern world and contemporary life. Resource management systems are core institutions of modern industrial production and contemporary world order. The ability and desire to manage the means of survival – to augment, enhance and to some extent control them – is one of the distinguishing characteristics of humanity. And yet, for many people – individuals, families, communities and cultures – the dominant resource management systems are failing. These systems are ostensibly aimed at fostering not just human survival but also human development, but they fail to do this for vast numbers of people.