Globalization has become one of the defining buzzwords of our time--a term that describes a variety of complex economic, political, cultural, ideological, and environmental forces that are rapidly altering our experience of the world. In the years since World War II, we have seen national boundaries fade as financial markets, manufacturing concerns, information services, and cultural products (including movies, music, and television shows) have spread around the earth. Immigration and tourism have exploded, Japanese cars are assembled in the United States and American hamburgers are sold in Toyko. And the Internet connects virtually everyone on the planet who owns a computer. We are indeed now living in a borderless world.u003cbru003e In clear, accessible language, Manfred B. Steger goes beyond a narrow economic focus to cover all the major causes and consequences of globalization as well as the hotly contested question of whether globalization is, ultimately, a good or a bad thing. This new edition has been fully updated for 2009 to include recent developments in global politics and the impact of terrorism and it expands the discussion of environmental issues, devoting an entirely new chapter to this key topic. The book also examines political movements both for and against globalization, from WTO protests to the recent rise in global jihadism; considers such concepts as "Americanization" and "McDonaldization"; and explores the role of the media and communication technologies in the process of cultural globalization. Finally, Steger explains in accessible language the connection between economic globalization and multinational corporations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization.u003cbru003e Including maps, diagrams, figures, textboxes, and a timeline, this compact book provides a wealth of information on one of the key new forces in the modern world. u003cbru003eAbout the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.