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.
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Varun Gauri is senior economist in the Development Research Group at the World Bank.
We gratefully acknowledge fine research assistance from Christina Shim and Nalini Gupta, and helpful comments from Catherine Boone, Chris Beyrer, John Gerring, Denise Vaillancourt, Martha Ainsworth, Nancy Bermeo, Deborah Yashar; attendees of presentations at Princeton, Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard, Georgetown, Brown, the University of Pennsylvania, and at the World Bank; and the editors ofSCID and the anonymous reviewers. We also thank the dozens of South Africans and Brazilians who shared valuable information and their professional insights in interviews conducted by the authors. This paper was originally presented at the Annual Meetings of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, 2–5 September 2004. Evan Lieberman gratefully acknowledges financial support for his research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Yale University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA). The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily reflect those of the World Bank or its executive directors.
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Gauri, V., Lieberman, E.S. Boundary institutions and HIV/AIDS policy in Brazil and South Africa. St Comp Int Dev 41, 47–73 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02686236
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus
- Comparative International Development
- Racial Identity
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus Prevalence
- Government Response