Just over ten years since Zygmunt Bauman made this comment about the ubiquity of the term
‘globalisation’, the word shows no signs of disappearing. The term is particularly prevalent in
the context of the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. We would thus agree with Bauman
that globalisation is one of the catchwords of the age, and that no one is free from the effects
of global processes. Where we feel further discussion is needed, however, concerns the
question of whether globalisation “affects us all in the same measure and in the same way”.
The precise effects of globalisation, we suggest, can only be understood through fine-grained
research in localised sites. In this special issue, we ask whether globalisation “affects us all in
the same way”; we consider how people are affected by global processes in specific sites in
East and Southeast Asia; and we consider how these effects are played out at the most local,
intimate and, indeed, embodied level.