This paper describes the political context of the 2004 World Social Forum (WSF) held in Mumbai, India from January 16-21, 2004. Using a concept of 'place' borrowed from Doreen Massey, it argues that most academic reviews of the WSF employ an abstract notion of globalization that is detached from the everyday struggles of the majority of WSF participants. These reviews then argue that the WSF should advance a unified 'alternative globalization' platform. With close attention to the range of struggles represented at the WSF, this paper warns against the call for a unified vision and method of change and shows how these struggles defy generalized definitions of change
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