In these pages the author has mapped out the main issues that are generally dealt with under the term 'globalisation'. His reason for doing so, quite simply, is that, with certain provisos, he believes this is a useful and important term that is all too often subject to rhetorical and ideological misuse. By analysing the concepts involved and clarifying some of the theoretical issues, he hopes to contribute to curbing such misuse. At a more profound level, the author would like to help readers make a critical appraisal of the vast array of books that take 'globalisation' as a paradigm for the contemporary human situation. Globalisation is often used as an extremely general ordinative and explanatory concept, able on its own to give meaning, whether positive or negative, to the current transition to the third millennium. In reality, the processes involved in globalisation are highly complex and affect clearly differentiated social spheres, including the economy, mass communications, domestic and international affairs, ecology, law and military strategy.