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Episode Info:

Jessica Rich’s new book, State-Sponsored Activism: Bureaucrats and Social Movements in Democratic Brazil (Cambridge University Press, 2019) is a fascinating and important examination of civil-state relations, social movements, and bureaucracies all centering around AIDS/HIV policy as the nexus of analysis. With AIDS/HIV as the center of the analysis, Rich explores how AIDS/HIV policy as a social movement developed in the latter part of the 20th century in Brazil, and subsequently finds groundbreaking outcomes in the way that this policy arena was sustained as an advocacy movement even after policy was developed and implemented. State-Sponsored Activism unpacks the theoretical parameters that have generally framed understandings of governmental functioning in Latin America more broadly, and Brazil in particular, teasing out anticipated analysis of AIDS/HIV policy and political actors but also finding different dynamics between national bureaucrats, civil society organizations, and social advocacy movements. In this clear and rigorous study, Rich braids together the unexpected relationship between new bureaucrats who were, often, working collaboratively or in concert with social movements to press for comprehensive AIDS/HIV policy, and then, once that policy was in place, these same relationships continued to operate to keep and strengthen the policy over the first decade of the 21st century.

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