Studies in Comparative International Development

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 47–73 | Cite as

Boundary institutions and HIV/AIDS policy in Brazil and South Africa

  • Varun Gauri
  • Evan S. Lieberman


Why have some national governments acted more aggressively to address the HIV/ AIDS pandemic than others? More specifically, what explains, widely varied responses across Brazil and South Africa—two countries where one might have expected more similarity than difference? We argue thatboundary institutions—those sets of rules and practices that give social and political meaning to group identities—help explain this puzzle. Institutions interact with other pressures to structure the dissemination of information, the construction of risk, and priorities within society. Where institutions divide groups deeply, elites and ordinary citizens are less likely to feel volnerable, and more likely to blame other groups, making aggresive government action far less likely.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Comparative International Development Racial Identity Human Immunodeficiency Virus Prevalence Government Response 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Varun Gauri
  • Evan S. Lieberman
    • 1
  1. 1.Princeton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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