Thinking Politically about HIV
Edited by Kent Buse, Dennis Altman
Routledge – 2014 – 150 pages
AIDS has a unique political history. As fears grew of a global pandemic on the scale of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, AIDS was briefly treated as an issue of high politics in the international arena and generated significant resources for country programmes. That initial commitment is now declining, and if AIDS is to maintain its visibility and contribution to global solidarity, human rights and dignity, its politics will have to evolve to reflect the profound geo-political, economic and social transformations underway today.
This volume brings together leading scholars from a variety of disciplines who work at the intersection of politics and HIV. They reflect on the lessons learned from the past thirty years of the politics of AIDS and how political science, writ large, can further contribute to the understanding and practice of political mobilization around AIDS. Through case studies and analysis, new insights into identity politics and social movements in countries as diverse as Brazil, Switzerland, Vietnam and Zambia are offered alongside new approaches to understanding the determinants and incentives which generate political will and commitment.
This book was published as a special issue of Contemporary Politics.
"In my experience as Head of India's AIDS programme during its intense phase, and later as Regional Director of UNAIDS in Asia Pacific, I have seen how politics plays a major defining role in AIDS responses in Asia Pacific countries. Understanding politics is critical in managing difficult situations and delivering change. As Buse and colleagues outline in this welcome collection, if we want to provide services to men who have sex with men, trans-genders, drug users and sex workers, every decision is a difficult political decision" - Dr J.V.R. Prasada Rao, UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for AIDS
"Whenever we have made progress on AIDS it was because of good politics. Whenever there was no progress, it was because of bad politics. This book provides unique analyses on the political forces and power relations that shaped the global AIDS response and provides critical lessons to shape the future" - Professor Peter Piot, Director, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
"A judicious reminder that what is written, said, thought and done about the global AIDS crisis may no longer provide a self-assured basis upon which to construct future policy" - Professor Nana Poku, Dean, School of Social and International Studies, Bradford University
"In this outstanding collection of essays, Buse, Altman and colleagues draw lessons from a thirty year struggle and make a timely call for paradigm shift in the global AIDS response" - John Ferguson Professorial Chair of African Studies, Bradford University
1. Thinking politically about HIV: political analysis and action in response to AIDS 2. Political science(s) and HIV: a critical analysis 3. Descriptive representation and AIDS policy in South Africa 4. Public opinion as leadership disincentive: exploring a governance dilemma in the AIDS response in Africa 5. Building capacities and producing citizens: the biopolitics of HIV prevention in Brazil 6. Constitution, diversification and normalization of a health problem: organizing the fight against AIDS in Switzerland (1984–2005) 7. AIDS mobilisation in Zambia and Vietnam: explaining the differences 8. China’s evolving AIDS policy: the influence of global norms and transnational non-governmental organizations 9. Lessons from the rise and fall of the military AIDS hypothesis: politics, evidence and persuasion 10. AIDS hyper-epidemics and social resilience: theorising the political
Kent Buse, PhD, is a political economist with a focus on health policy analysis. He is currently Chief of Political Affairs and Strategy at UNAIDS. He has taught at Yale University and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and has worked with a range of international organizations.
Dennis Altman is a political scientist who has written a number of key books on sexuality, HIV and AIDS, and Australian politics. He was President of the AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific (2001-2005), and a member of the Governing Council of the International AIDS Society (2004-2012).