The impact of HIV and AIDS on democratic consolidation : a comparative assessment of Botswana and South Africa

Meintjes, Cara Hugo (2011-12)

Thesis (MA )--Stellenbosch University, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The purpose of this thesis is to assess the impact of HIV and AIDS on democratic consolidation in two democracies in Southern Africa: Botswana and South Africa. Mattes (2003), Barnett and Whiteside (2006) and others warned that in states with high HIV infection levels, the negative impact of the pandemic - especially in terms of socio-economic conditions, budgetary pressures and a loss of human capital in the state and the economy - was potentially so great that it may affect democracy detrimentally. In contrast, some scholars, particularly Anthony Butler (2005a) and Alex de Waal (2006), contended that although the pandemic had negative effects, democracies might survive it and that in some specific ways, democratic consolidation might even benefit from the its consequences. For instance, they argued that in South Africa, the civil society response to the government’s controversial HIV and AIDS policy deepened the institutional framework of democracy. The methodology for the above comparative analysis is based on the application of a minimalist multivariate model which, following the thinking of Bratton and Van de Walle (1997) consists of both institutional and socio-economic factors. Factors are selected for their relevance to democratic consolidation, as argued by scholars such as Linz and Stepan (1996), Przeworski, Alvarez, Cheibub and Limongi (1996), Bratton and Van de Walle (1997) and Leftwich (2000). The chosen factors are the system of government (the relationship between the branches of government); the electoral system; political rights and civil liberties; economic indicators (affluence, economic growth and the reduction of inequality); human development (as measured by the United Nations Development Program) and civil society. This is a descriptive, qualitative, desktop study, using secondary literature in books, as well as articles. There is no empirical component, such as fieldwork, surveys or questionnaires. As stated below, such methodology may be used for further elaboration and refining of the findings of this desktop-based comparative analysis. The main finding is that currently, despite the cost and human implications of the disease, there are no indications that it is directly threatening to destroy the democracies of Botswana or South Africa. This finding differs from the more negative expectations of the scholars mentioned above. It is suggested that the increasing provision and effectiveness of antiretroviral treatment (ART) enables these democracies and their economies to avoid some of the ravages of the disease that seemed inevitable a few years ago. Furthermore, it is suggested that the comparative affluence of the two states in question shields them from some negative effects of HIV and AIDS and that this may be different in poorer Southern African states. This is an issue for further research. Such research should go beyond desktop research to include fieldwork and questionnaires.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie tesis is om die impak van MIV en VIGS op demokratiese konsolidering in twee Suider-Afrikaanse demokrasieë, Botswana en Suid-Afrika, vas te stel. Mattes (2003), Barnett en Whiteside (2006) en ander het gewaarsku dat die negatiewe uitwerking van die pandemie - veral in terme van sosio-ekonomiese toestande, begrotingsdruk en ’n verlies aan menslike hulpbronne in die staat en ekonomie - potensieel so groot is dat dit demokrasie nadelig sou beïnvloed. In teenstelling hiermee het ander akademici, soos Anthony Butler (2005a) en Alex de Waal (2006), geredeneer dat demokrasieë die pandemie mag oorleef ten spyte van die negatiewe effekte wat dit wel het en dat demokrasieë selfs op sekere wyses by die gevolge daarvan mag baatvind. Byvoorbeeld, het hulle geargumenteer, in Suid-Afrika het die burgerlike samelewing se reaksie op die Mbeki-regering se kontroversiële MIV en VIGSbeleid die institusionele raamwerk van demokrasie verdiep. Die metodologie vir hierdie vergelykende analise is gebaseer op die toepassing van ’n minimalistiese multiveranderlike model. Soos gepostuleer deur Bratton en Van de Walle (1997), wat beide institusionele en sosio-ekonomiese faktore insluit. Faktore is gekies op grond van hulle relevansie tot demokratiese konsolidering (volgens vakkundiges soos Linz en Stepan (1996), Przeworski, Alvarez, Cheibub en Limongi (1996), Bratton en Van de Walle (1997) en Leftwich (2000), asook vir dié se moontlike relevansie tot demokrasieë wat spesifiek deur MIV en VIGS geaffekteer word. Die gekose faktore is die regeringstelsel (die verhouding tussen die uitvoerende, wetgewende en regsprekende gesag), die verkiesingstelsel, politieke regte en burgerlike vryhede, ekonomiese aanwysers (welvaart; ekonomiese groei en die vermindering van ongelykheid), menslike ontwikkeling (soos gemeet deur die Verenigde Nasies se Ontwikkelingsprogram) en die burgerlike samelewing. Hierdie tesis is ’n literatuurstudie van ’n beskrywende, kwalitatiewe aard. Daar is gebruik gemaak van sekondêre literatuur in boeke, asook van artikels. Daar is geen empiriese komponent soos veldwerk en meningspeilings nie. Soos hieronder beklemtoon word, kan empiriese metodes in toekomstige studies gebruik word om op die bevindinge wat hierdie navorsing opgelewer het, uit te brei en dit te verfyn. Die hoofbevinding is dat daar tans, ten spyte van die finansiële en menslike koste van MIV en VIGS, geen aanduiding is dat die siekte ‘n direkte bedreiging inhou vir die voortbestaan van demokrasie in Botswana en Suid-Afrika nie. Hierdie bevinding verskil van die meer negatiewe verwagtinge hierbo uitgespreek. Dit word voorgestel dat die toenemende voorsiening en effektiwiteit van antiretrovirale behandeling hierdie demokrasieë en hulle ekonomieë daartoe in staat stel om gedeeltelik die verwoesting van hierdie pandemie te vermy, iets wat enkele jare gelede nog as onvermydelik beskou is. Verder word die voorstel gemaak dat die impak van die pandemie op armer Suider-Afrikaanse state vergelyk behoort te word met die bevindinge wat hier aangebied word. Sulke toekomstige navorsing behoort nie net literatuurstudie in te sluit nie, maar ook veldwerk en meningsopnames.

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