Although the Seville Fair is part of a lively tradition of popular festivals, it clearly distinguishes itself from others of its kind on account of its very exclusive nature. The festival is organised around casetas, small traditional-style fabric houses, the vast majority of which are private (only 1.7% of the 1,052 casetas are open to the public). Because it is a site of social exclusivity par excellence, a place for upholding family social capital (sometimes across several generations), the fair challenges the democratic society and triggers controversy and debate, especially when it comes to its management by the municipality. Its model of a sold-out party has also given birth to the phenomenon of a counter-feria, which developed during the moment of democratic transition around organisations of political opposition. Offering a history of the feria that splits up the group, that strips away its illusion and reinscribes it in the social and political trajectories of the individuals and groups that participate in it transforms this prominent object of local chronicles and tourist brochures into an object of social science that enables the examination of social and political networks.

Olivier Dabène (Dir.)

Amérique latine - L’Année politique is a publication by CERI-Sciences Po’s Political Observatory of Latin America and the Caribbean (OPALC). The study extends the work presented on the Observatory’s website (www.sciencespo.fr/opalc) by offering tools for understanding a continent that is in the grip of deep transformations.

avec la collaboration de Madhi Mehraeen et Ibrahim Tavalla

War since 1979 and the reconstruction of the state under Western tutelage since 2001 have led to a simplification of the identity of Afghan society, through an invention of ethnicity and tradition – a process behind which the control or the ownership of the political and economic resources of the country are at stake. Hazarajat is a remarkable observation site of this process. Its forced integration into the nascent Afghan state during the late nineteenth century has left a mark on its history. The people of Hazara, mainly Shi’ite, has been relegated to a subordinate position from which it got out of progressively, only by means of jihad against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s and the US intervention in 2001, at the ost of an ethnicization of its social and political consciousness. Ethnicity, however, is based on a less communitarian than unequal moral and political economy. Post-war aid to state-building has polarized social relations, while strengthening their ethnicization: donors and NGOs remain prisoners of a cultural, if not orientalist approach to the country that they thereby contribute to “traditionalize”, while development aid destabilizes the “traditional” society by accelerating its monetization and commodification.

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