This chapter first defines globalisation and then discusses pro- and anti-globalisation viewpoints, focusing on the impact of globalisation on the distribution of poverty, the decline of class-based politics, the changing role of the state, the rise of new social movements, and the extent to which these changes pose a challenge to the Western model of liberal democracy. The processes of globalisation weaken the regulative powers of individual nation-states. Clearly, globalisation has growth-stimulating and crisis-inducing, integrating and fragmenting (perhaps even divisive), egalitarian and hierarchical, democratic and authoritarian effects. Left-leaning globo-sceptics see globalisation as the triumph of exploitative international capitalism, domination by transnational corporations, economic rationalism freed from democratic controls, and environmental degradation—all seen as socially disruptive and unsustainable. Analysts of globalisation point to the growing prominence in advanced societies of ‘new politics’ propelled by charismatic leaders of social movements and civic initiatives.