When the editorship started planning this special issue some 18 months ago, there were in excess of 700 titles on the topic of globalisation available on the website of Amazon.com. The decision to devote an entire issue of SAJEMS to globalisation did not flow from a need to investigate a new field in the political economy, but was rather intended to contextualise the effects of globalisation for the Southern African region. And indeed, as work on the issue progressed, international interest in globalisation has heightened rather than waned. It is a near impossible task to present an entirely representative overview of all the divergent opinions on globalisation, or to suggest the solutions to the fundamental shortcomings of the current tide of increased integration. Hopefully, a general perspective of the dimensions of globalisation is provided. These dimensions include a general background, the demographical and political dynamics of globalisation, a few trade and financial-flow perspectives, some regional aspects and, finally, the domestic considerations to be taken into account.