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

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Overview

"In this stunning work, Lieberman traces the divergent responses of governments to the varying salience of ethnic boundaries across polities. Where ethnic boundary institutions are strong, he shows that political leaders are reluctant to address HIV, whether or not their own ethnic community runs a relatively higher risk than other groups. This book should be read and taught by scholars of comparative politics and public health specialists for its substantive argument and multilevel, multimethod research design."—Elisabeth Jean Wood, Yale University

"In this book, Lieberman seeks to explain why countries or states have different public policies and public expenditures towards HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. His argument relies heavily on the ethnic configuration of nation-states. Brazil does well, South Africa does badly, and India's performance is found to be closer to South Africa. Because of the lower racial consciousness of decision makers and lower salience of race in Brazilian politics, argues Lieberman, governments are able to define HIV as a national, not an ethnic or racial, problem. In South Africa and India, race and caste dominate politics, the politics of blame and shame takes over, and the decision makers are unable to demonstrate the resoluteness that comes with viewing the problem as a national one. A fascinating argument."—Ashutosh Varshney, Brown University

"Why are some countries so callous toward AIDS victims? This book is the first to account systematically for national differences in AIDS policies. The greater the racial fragmentation in society, the comparative analysis shows, the more each racial group will use the tactics of shame and blame to avoid supporting public investment in AIDS treatment. While Evan Lieberman's evidence is distressing, his book is revealing."—David D. Laitin, Stanford University

"There has been a lack of meaningful work on the politics of HIV/AIDS, which is surprising given the prominence of the pandemic as a global issue and policy challenge. This book fills a real void and there is no question that it makes an important contribution to the field."—Richard Parker, Columbia University

"There is a great thirst for research on the social and political dynamics of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and Lieberman's book makes a decisive contribution to this literature. Boundaries of Contagion reframes the discussion of good policy in far-reaching and startling ways. It represents a heroic effort at developing a theory of how social boundaries shape the provision of public goods, and makes the most humane and compelling argument for nation-building that I have ever encountered."—Catherine Boone, University of Texas, Austin

"Boundaries of Contagion usefully separates the public health issue of which HIV/AIDS policies work best from the political science issue of which political forces are involved in shaping and constraining such policies. The analysis focuses rigorously on the political science issue without neglecting the public health issue."—James McGuire, Wesleyan University

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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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