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Over the past century, the power systems of the world each evolved under a diverse range of social, political and economic constraints, while all incorporating the technological advances of the day as appropriate. As a result the task of power system management and control worldwide has many common fundamental elements, but makes use of a range of discrete technologies and management techniques in a variety of ways to serve local needs. The terms 'privatisation', 'deregulation' and 'unbundling' have now become commonplace throughout the power industry as ever more nations seek to introduce competition, private finance and 'markets'. The fundamental technology of power transmission and distribution, serving the complementary needs of generation and supply will continue but the fast-changing commercial/regulatory environment is having a widespread and simultaneous impact worldwide on the business of system management and control. This paper discusses the topics to be discussed at the IEE Power System Management and Control conference in 2002.