Recognising that there are very different strands of thought within critical theory, this chapter has narrowed its approach to introduce critical theory as a specific line of inquiry seeking to advance emancipation, or human freedom, in the conduct of global affairs. A relevant critique seeks to trace forms of exclusion that instigate both redistribution and recognition struggles and then identify the potential for progressive change inspired by immanent ideas, norms and practices. From a critical perspective, then, people – not states – must be put at the centre of politics, global or otherwise. Additionally, political arrangements should be judged, or critiqued, according to their capacity to advance emancipation and the broadening of moral boundaries. Critical theory assumes an active role in the betterment of human affairs according to the potential for freedom inherent in modernity and the identification of political alternatives at hand in the globalising society and the historical process bringing it into being.