Synopses & Reviews
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.