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Four new projects have recently been added to the ASCI research portfolio:
The main purpose of this article is to qualify HIV/AIDS in relation to state fragility in Mozambique, based on fieldwork and literature review to contextualize it within other African countries facing the HIV epidemic. This is pursued by an analysis of epidemic evolution, ethnography of treatment access and delivery, HIV fragility, and absorptive capacity. First, Mozambique is considered a ‘stable low-income country’, which provides an environment of ‘easy partnership’. It is not a ‘fragile state’ as defined in development discourse. Second, the most fragile states benefit the least from international support. Third, the weak Mozambican public health system and the political avoidance of private health care point to particular forms of fragility. Many die of HIV related diseases due to the fragile public health system with limited absorptive capacity. The article concludes that the question of how the epidemic aggravates already weak states is conspicuously absent from measurement of state fragility now more than 25 years since its inception. This is particularly unfortunate in Mozambique, a low-income country with exceptional partnerships and progress in antiretroviral treatment (ART) expansion, yet only treating 16 percent of people in need of antiretrovirals (ARVs) by the end of 2006. Mozambique experiences crowded health services, excess illness and deaths in some age groups, large numbers of orphans, loss of active labour force, and thus an unprecedented human resource crisis. Health and disease pertain both to national and social welfare, an argument reinforced by the unfolding HIV epidemic that affects all levels of society. The question remains when Mozambique will move from 'weak' and 'fragile' to 'strong', independent of foreign health care support. The article finally recommends measuring state fragility ‘with and without AIDS’ in order to properly understand its impact and to take appropriate action. The ‘states of HIV fragility correlation’ is a starting point towards this endeavour.
In July 2000, the UN passed Resolution 1308, which proposed that HIV/AIDS was a direct threat to security and stability. Through OLS and logit/multinomial regression analyses, this paper aims to investigate whether there is a unilateral correlation between HIV to state fragility as measured by corruption, political rights, civil liberty and the presence of conflict. It argues that the relationship, if any, between HIV/AIDS and state fragility is weak and tenuous, with very few statistically significant results. The original argument is thought to have arisen primarily as policymakers have blurred the boundaries between the concept of !human security" and !national security". It concludes by suggesting that the over-generalisation and exaggeration of security and fragility issues, especially since 9/11, has led to unnecessary alarmist views in the global arena, and that neither national nor international security is likely to be perturbed by HIV/AIDS alone.
This paper was prompted in part by discussions at the HIV/AIDS and Fragile States in Australia"s Proximate Region Workshop held at La Trobe University in Melbourne Australia during April 2007. This interdisciplinary workshop provided a stimulating environment for academics, policymakers, and practitioners from the region to debate the salience of the state failure paradigm for understanding the relation between HIV and governance in the South Pacific. The product was a "Research Agenda for HIV/AIDS and State Fragility in the Region!. The conclusions were that: “State fragility does not provide an accurate or useful paradigm for examining the reasons for concern over HIV/AIDS in the Asia-Pacific region.”…”Actions at the level of the community are highly significant in explaining the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic thus far”…(and)…“There is a rich and varied experience of policymaking and policy implementation with respect to HIV/AIDS across the region.”
While southeast Asia is a common geographic and political construct, now given political expression through the Association of Southeast Asian States [ASEAN], it is a remarkably diverse region, embracing almost every form of political system, religion and degree of wealth in the world. Not surprisingly, this diversity is reflected in the HIV/AIDS epidemic in southeast Asia, so that transmission via infected blood, both heterosexual and homosexual sex and sex work, as well as shared needles, are all important factors. The proportion of transmission due to each factor will of course vary: needles are a more important factor in Burma, Malaysia and Vietnam; the proportion of the overall infection amongst men who have sex with men is highest in Singapore [as it is in the other rich countries of East Asia]; Thailand and Cambodia have more generalized epidemics. Infection via blood transfusions is now very limited, although blood safety remains an issue in several countries.
The general perception still appertains that health is a residual factor as in Soviet times, or a factor which is less important than military or political dimensions. It is hoped that this paper will demonstrate how in the current and future Russian case, the conjuncture of population and health as they affect the military will play a very significant role. Health (and population) are factors which should influence choices made by a government, and not ignored as previously.
There is a growing recognition that infectious diseases can easily spill
across national borders and threaten global peace and stability. This has
resulted in a change in focus from reduction in HIV/AIDS being an component of development to also being an important consideration for security.
This paper explores the interlinkages between HIV and state failure by empirically testing for any direct impact of HIV on different indicators of state
fragility. In general, we do not find any conclusive evidence of a direct
impact of HIV on state fragility.
Northeast India is to the rest of India what Africa is to the World – far away and forgotten. Both in the cases of Africa and the Northeast, inhabitants of the "core" witness these peripheral regions sliding into underdevelopment, uncertainty and anarchy. Since nothing much can be done to save them, safeguard the status- quo, they believe, so that things don!t go out of control. While it may be comparing the incomparable, the message is loud and clear that parts of Northeast India is close to near total collapse – from the points of view of governance, law and order, and development - and still the government policies have not gone beyond ad hoc measures aimed at maintaining the status-quo. Even as the governability of the state and governance therein are severely damaged, the powerful parties - the Central government, state governments, politicians, the many Underground Organisations (UGs) and the narcotics mafia - seem safe in their comfort zones. The objective of this study is to assess the impact that HIV/AIDS has had on governance in Nagaland and Manipur.
This paper will overview a wealth of specific research work (both generic and specific to the
security sector) to frame the development of the intellectual debate on HIV/AIDS and the police
thus far. It will also look at more specific issues related to the police and to the security sector in
order to highlight the key areas discussed at the micro level but from which broader conclusions
and recommendations could be drawn. Finally, the paper will present a number of
recommendations for further discussion and research.
Most previous literature dealing with the impact of HIV/AIDS on military forces has dealt with the civilian sector informing on global, regional and national organizations. Progress has barely moved beyond influencing military behavioural change, because empirical data measuring the effect on armed forces is limited by a military propensity to zealously observe national security considerations and guard against the release of ‘sensitive’ information.
Our mission report provides a clear analysis of the HIV/AIDS problem in the armed forces and
the police of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Central America is
also a post-conflict region.
This paper is an attempt to frame the issues and lead debate at the expert meeting; it is not a comprehensive review of the research in the field, nor does it claim to be ‘laundry-list’ of the issues that will be of importance to participants. It is, instead, a starting-point for discussions.
It is written from two perspectives. Firstly, it takes an approach from HIV/AIDS research and advocacy and applies this to the issue of policing. Secondly, it is written from the point of view of the Justice Africa research programme on HIV/AIDS, democracy, security and gender. The paper, therefore, has a major, but not exclusively, African point-of-view.
This update provides a brief overview of ASCI’s achievement during the last 6 months.
The first four ASCI Research Reports have been released and are now available online.
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