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Understanding the BRIC response to AIDS: political institutions, civil society, and historical policy backlash in comparative perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-340
Number of pages26
JournalCommonwealth and Comparative Politics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2015

King's Authors


The BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) have differed in their government response to health epidemics. It is argued that Brazil eventually outpaced her emerging counterparts in response to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) due to the presence of political institutional, civil societal, and foreign policy strategies that both sustained and encouraged the introduction of innovative policies. The concept of historical policy backlash is introduced in order to explain how the BRIC’ differences in their historic roles as foreign aid donors in health shaped their incentive to either focus on domestic AIDS policy or foreign aid strategies at the expense of domestic policy. This article therefore represents the first attempt to combine comparative political–historical, social, and international processes to account for differences in the BRIC nations willingness and capacity to respond to AIDS.

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