This chapter sets out the first part of the book’s theoretical and empirical contextualization of Mauritius’s engagement with India and Africa. It presents several key concepts derived from world-systems analysis, which are used to explain the historical and systemic sources of unevenness that have come to define the global economy and its increasingly offshore underpinnings, as well as the roles of differently positioned states, ideologies, and social movements within it. It then goes on to explore the roots of two prominent patterns that are particularly relevant to the evolution of the offshore world, namely the spread and growth of global finance since the early 1970s, and the regional specialization of offshore hubs. It posits that these two patterns are instrumental in understanding not only the rise of the offshore world, but also the gradually increasing contestation and resistance against it.