This article criticises overly ambitious definitions of globalisation both on theoretical and empirical grounds. Globalisation seems to be a less universal and unprecedented process than often described. It also seems that its most important effects are limited to the economic sphere while in the political one it has not destroyed the traditional organisation of states or the heterogeneous nature of the international system. Its main political effects are twofold. On the one hand, in the more globalised areas, open economies demonstrate and reinforce more peaceful international relations. On the other hand, in the less globalised areas, conflicts may arise between those who want to integrate in the world economy and those who are opposed. The most important political issue arising from globalisation may therefore be the future relationship between the more and the less globalised areas.