Boundaries of Contagion: How Ethnic Politics Have Shaped Government Responses to AIDS

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Overview

Why have governments responded to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in such different ways? During the past quarter century, international agencies and donors have disseminated vast resources and a set of best practice recommendations to policymakers around the globe. Yet the governments of developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean continue to implement widely varying policies. Boundaries of Contagion is the first systematic, comparative analysis of the politics of HIV/AIDS. The book explores the political challenges of responding to a stigmatized condition, and identifies ethnic boundaries--the formal and informal institutions that divide societies--as a central influence on politics and policymaking.

Evan Lieberman examines the ways in which risk and social competition get mapped onto well-institutionalized patterns of ethnic politics. Where strong ethnic boundaries fragment societies into groups, the politics of AIDS are more likely to involve blame and shame-avoidance tactics against segments of the population. In turn, government leaders of such countries respond far less aggressively to the epidemic. Lieberman's case studies of Brazil, South Africa, and India--three developing countries that face significant AIDS epidemics--are complemented by statistical analyses of the policy responses of Indian states and over seventy developing countries. The studies conclude that varied patterns of ethnic competition shape how governments respond to this devastating problem. The author considers the implications for governments and donors, and the increasing tendency to identify social problems in ethnic terms.

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Editorial Reviews

CEU Political Science Journal
Lieberman's book has the great merit of casting peremptory conclusions about HIV/AIDS implementation in national contexts, and, as such, it constitutes a landmark in the political analysis of epidemic response. Though being a scholarly book, it appeals to wider audience interested in major international social and development policy . . . since it proposes thoroughly argued explanations for specific policy behaviors.
— Ricardo Pereira
CEU Political Science Journal - Ricardo Pereira
Lieberman's book has the great merit of casting peremptory conclusions about HIV/AIDS implementation in national contexts, and, as such, it constitutes a landmark in the political analysis of epidemic response. Though being a scholarly book, it appeals to wider audience interested in major international social and development policy . . . since it proposes thoroughly argued explanations for specific policy behaviors.
From the Publisher

Winner of the 2010 Giovanni Sartori Book Award, Qualitative Methods Section of the American Political Science Association

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2010

"Lieberman's methodologically eclectic study constitutes the most thorough cross-national examination of the politics of AIDS to date. It should be essential reading for people interested in the politics of AIDS, public health, and public policy making more generally."--Choice

"Lieberman's book has the great merit of casting peremptory conclusions about HIV/AIDS implementation in national contexts, and, as such, it constitutes a landmark in the political analysis of epidemic response. Though being a scholarly book, it appeals to wider audience interested in major international social and development policy . . . since it proposes thoroughly argued explanations for specific policy behaviors."--Ricardo Pereira, CEU Political Science Journal

Choice
Lieberman's methodologically eclectic study constitutes the most thorough cross-national examination of the politics of AIDS to date. It should be essential reading for people interested in the politics of AIDS, public health, and public policy making more generally.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691140193
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/23/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Evan S. Lieberman is associate professor of politics at Princeton University.
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Table of Contents

Illustrations ix
Abbreviations xi
Preface xiii

Chapter One: Introduction 1
The Puzzle Of Explaining Government Policy 5
AIDS as a Laboratory for Comparison: Politics in Really Hard Times 10
Outline of the Book 18

Chapter Two: A Theory of Boundary Politics and Alternative Explanations 25
Ethnic Boundaries 28
The Effect of Boundaries on Policymaking 35
Implications for AIDS Policy 42
Additional and Alternative Explanations 50
Conclusion 59

Chapter Three: Globalization and Global Governance of AIDS: The Geneva Consensus 61
The Rise of Asymmetric Global Health Governance 65
The Emergence of the Global Response to AIDS 72
The Content of the Geneva Consensus 86
The Limits of Consensus 106
Conclusion 107

Chapter Four: Partial and Alternative Explanations of Policy Divergence 125
The Effect of Boundary Institutions 142
Conclusion 171

Chapter Five: A Model-Testing Case Study of Strong Ethnic Boundaries and AIDS Policy in India 173
India's AIDS Epidemic 177
The Government's Response: Weak and Delayed 181
Explanation: The Role of Boundary Politics 193
Explaining Policy Variation across Indian States 220
Conclusions and Alternative Explanations 234

Chapter Six: Ethnic Boundaries and AIDS Policies around the World 239
The Data 240
Analysis and Discussion: Estimates of the Effect of Boundaries on AIDS Policy 261
Conclusion 288

Chapter Seven: Conclusion: Ethnic Boundaries or Cosmopolitanism? 292
Implications 295
Future Research 303
References 307
Index 331

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