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Successive South African governments have had controversial views on HIV and AIDS which have led to allegations that South Africa is in a state of denial about the AIDS epidemic. This book attempts to determine the validity of such claims of government denial by formulating and testing a denial hypothesis.The hypothesis is contextualized with an overview of the South African epidemic as well as a review of allegations of government denial. It reveals possible political factors that may motivate policy-makers to resort to official denial and tentatively concludes with a confirmation of the allegations contained in the denial hypothesis. However, this is done within the broader notion that denial is inherently vague and couched in language (rarely in writing) and therefore difficult to test with certainty and as such this book's real value lies in the insights gained into the complex politics of denial. By exploring the dynamics of denial and denialism and applying this to the South African AIDS epidemic, this study provides a comprehensive analysis.
Pieter Fourie is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics & International Relations, Macquarie University, Australia. Melissa Meyer is Project Coordinator for HIV/AIDS and the Media Project, South Africa.
Contents: Foreword, Mary Crewe; Preface; Introduction; The South African AIDS epidemic; Developing a theory of government AIDS denial; Part I A History of the Official Response: Past is prologue: apartheid responses to AIDS; The Mandela government's response to AIDS; The two Mbeki governments' responses to AIDS. Part II Making Sense of AIDS Denial; Classic official denial; Counter-offensive denial and partial acknowledgement; The politics of denial; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
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- ID: 9781409404057
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