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The Political Cost of AIDS in Africa. Evidence from Six Countries [Paperback]

By Kondwani Chirambo (Editor)
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Item description for The Political Cost of AIDS in Africa. Evidence from Six Countries by Kondwani Chirambo...

The Political Cost of AIDS in Africa provides comprehensive empirical evidence of the impact HIV/AIDS is having on politics and the electoral process. The latest publication to come out of an extensive study by Idasa and its research partners, this book reveals that the fledgling multi-party democracies in parts of the continent are being undermined by sickness, incapacity and premature deaths among elected leaders as well as within the electorate. The book suggests innovative and holistic responses to address these problems. A culmination of three years of exploratory studies by African researchers working under the auspices of Idasa, it demonstrates how AIDS is interwoven with the continent's ambitions for deepening democracy. With chapters on Namibia, Malawi, Tanzania, South Africa, Senegal and Zambia, this study investigates: the attrition among elected political leaders and the costs of replacing them; the loss of elected representatives, its effect on constituencies, and the power dynamics in parliamentary structures and in democratic governance; the failure to maintain voter registers and how it affects the credibility of electoral outcomes; the effect of stigma and discrimination on political participation.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   390
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 8.25" Height: 10.75"
Weight:   2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 30, 2008
Publisher   The Institute for Democracy in South Africa
ISBN  1920118659  
ISBN13  9781920118655  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Disorders & Diseases > AIDS
2Books > Subjects > Medicine > Diseases > AIDS & HIV
3Books > Subjects > Medicine > General
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Government > Democracy
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > Globalization
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Political Cost of AIDS in Africa. Evidence from Six Countries?

AIDS and politics in African nations  Apr 11, 2008

This powerful book presents the results of three year studies in six countries: South Africa, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, Senegal and Zambia. It focuses on the attrition among political leaders, depletion of skills and experience in electoral politics, constraints on participation in the electoral process by citizens, and other consequences arising from the AIDS.

Although the summary chapters have value, I found the country by country analysis most interesting. For each country the book provides an unusual insight into their political and cultural institutions.

Malawi's situation is fraught in many respects, particularly the controversies around the voter registers and the legitimacy of leadership.

Namibia faces the challenge of combating HIV/AIDS as a young nation consolidating its democratic institutions.

The AIDS debate in South Africa is almost impossible for an outsider to understand, given its fervor, the debates over electoral reforms and the impact of AIDS amongst registered voters in each of the nine provinces.

Tanzania is cursed with two governments that form a single union: Tanganyika and Zanzibar as the United Republic of Tanzania. Fighting AIDS is complicated by the disparities in infection between the largely Islamic island and the mainland. As in South Africa, it is very difficult for an outsider to understand the bipartisan political partnership in Parliament formed to fight AIDS.

In Zambia there are heated debates on compulsory testing for leaders even though there is evidence of high attrition among parliamentarians from undisclosed illnesses and the impact this might have on the country's political future.

The chapter on Senegal challenges the very concept of democratic governance with a fascinating review of cultural and historic issues.

Idasa is "an independent public interest organisation committed to promoting sustainable democracy based on active citizenship, democratic institutions, and social justice." It enjoys an excellent reputation for its integrity and objectivity in seeking these objectives. As a general reader and an occasional traveler to Africa, I found this a very useful view of Africa.

Robert C. Ross, 2008

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