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In the last few years research on optical packet-switching has mainly concentrated on issues at the single node level. This paper intends to discuss about the problems arising when the focus is moved towards a network-wide scope. In particular, an overview of routing techniques that may be adopted in an optical packet-switched backbone is presented, showing the effects of adaptive multi-path routing strategies on the network performance. Furthermore, performance differentiation based on different routing and contention resolution strategies is proposed and analyzed in a simple QoS-aware scenario. Then, the application of adaptive routing strategies to network recovery in case of single link failure is also discussed.