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Comparing AIDS Governance: A Research Agenda on Responses to the AIDS Epidemic

Year: 2007
Working paper number: 203
Author: Strand, Per
Unit: ASRU

The main argument in this paper is a call for empirical and comparative research to improve our understanding of which form of governance is most effective in reversing the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The notion of 'AIDS Governance' should not, as in much of the current literature, be a postulated ideal but a variable that, potentially, can help explain why some responses are more effective than others. Democratic governments, it is argued, can respond through one of two forms of AIDS Governance. An 'idealistic' response will maximise human rights, accountability and participation since such democratic ideals are understood to increase and ensure the effectiveness of the response. An 'authoritative' response will limit one or more of the democratic ideals with the argument that such limitations will enable the government to respond more effectively in the interest of public health. While AIDS is too complex a problem for any clever governance quick-fix, the suggested research agenda on AIDS Governance has the potential to generate new knowledge of which forms of AIDS Governance are better equipped at tackling different aspects of the response or phases of the epidemic. The paper represents an effort to strengthen the contribution by Political Science in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Publication file: WP203.pdf