Over the past few years, discourse on “globalization” has become trendy. Many consider globalization one of the fundamental processes of the present and of the near future. The rapid and comprehensive spread of this idea itself appears to be a clear indication of its truth. A person who has been living in South-East Asia for the last decade or so might at first suppose that the fashion of speaking about globalization is particular to a certain group of semi-intellectuals and popular writers, who happen to have read one or two American publications on “megatrends” or similar concepts that attempt to explain the history and future of mankind in a few catchwords. A simple search for titles containing the word globalisasi in the on-line catalogue of the National Library in Jakarta yields fifty-two works, globalisation one-by a foreign author-and globalization twentyone-of which three are by Indonesian authors. However, a similar search in the Nederlandse Centrale Catalogus (Dutch Central Catalogue) yields fifty-four for globalisasi, of which a large part relate to publications by Indonesian authors available at the library of the Royal Institute for Linguistics and Anthropology (KITLV) in Leiden, ninety-one for globalisation, 263 for globalization and two and thirty-four for the Dutch equivalents globalisatie and globalisering respectively.1 Furthermore, during a recent visit to France I discovered that the term mondialisation-not globalisation-had become widely mentioned in newspapers. Still more recently, at a seminar on Islamic Studies held two weeks before the original version of this text was presented in Pattani, Thailand, I learnt a new term: ‘awlamah, being the Arabic equivalent of “globalization”.2 And we could go on for a long time in a similar vein.