By Evan S. Lieberman

Why have governments spoke back to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in such other ways? prior to now area century, foreign firms and donors have disseminated significant assets and a collection of most sensible perform thoughts to policymakers around the world. but the governments of constructing international locations in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin the US, and the Caribbean proceed to enforce greatly various regulations. limitations of Contagion is the 1st systematic, comparative research of the politics of HIV/AIDS. The publication explores the political demanding situations of responding to a stigmatized , and identifies ethnic boundaries--the formal and casual associations that divide societies--as a vital effect on politics and policymaking. Evan Lieberman examines the ways that probability and social pageant get mapped onto well-institutionalized styles of ethnic politics. the place powerful ethnic limitations fragment societies into teams, the politics of AIDS usually tend to contain blame and shame-avoidance strategies opposed to segments of the inhabitants. In flip, executive leaders of such international locations reply a ways much less aggressively to the epidemic. Lieberman's case reviews of Brazil, South Africa, and India--three constructing nations that face major AIDS epidemics--are complemented by means of statistical analyses of the coverage responses of Indian states and over seventy constructing nations. The reviews finish that assorted styles of ethnic pageant form how governments reply to this devastating challenge. the writer considers the consequences for governments and donors, and the expanding tendency to spot social difficulties in ethnic phrases.

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Evant or their effects can be understood in terms of broader patterns of boundary politics, closely tied to the boundaries that divide ethnic groups. Where states and societies have strong sanctions against exogamy, they are associated with controls on intimate contact, including prohibitions on same-sex contacts. As in virtually all aspects of development, gender, or more precisely the relative imbalance in gendered power, is a variable in the dynamics of the AIDS epidemic. A few areas are worth highlighting: There are gendered divisions of labor, by which men leave the household for work, during which time they may have sexual relations, become infected, then return home to infect their wives.

And other groups will tty to distance themselves from the one linked to the threat. In certain cases, it may be possible to interpret such behavior in instrumentalist terms, as the pursuit of a credible reputation, which determines other material rewards. Appearing morally or otherwise reputable may help group members to accrue other benefits, such as better-paying jobs. On the other hand, when social problems go unchecked because of shame avoidance, the strategy may backfire by increasing perceptions of a group's links to a threat, exacerbating differences between groups and the potential for further conflict.

When the state asks questions about ethnic identity and reports information or frames policies in such terms, citizens soon believe that social conditions and associated policies will affect them as members of groups, perhaps in conflict with the fortunes of other groups. In the case of health problems, state policies may include reporting on epidemiological and behavioral patterns of groups, which may lead citizens to believe that group labels are meaningful biologically or in some other deep sense.

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