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The Rhetoric of AIDS Policy in South Africa

Paroske, Marcus (2006) The Rhetoric of AIDS Policy in South Africa. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation examines the rhetorical dynamics of South African AIDS policy under President Thabo Mbeki. From 1999-2004, Mbeki bucked global consensus surrounding the etiology and treatment of AIDS and prohibited government distribution of anti-retroviral drug treatments. In defense of these policies, the President offered scientific arguments founded on the theories of Western "AIDS dissenters." He also made the case that South Africa's unique experiences under apartheid demanded a strong tolerance of dissent and debate. The international condemnation of these views was striking. Over the course of the controversy, rhetoric played a central role in shaping the views of both sides. Advocates marshaled public arguments in response to the exigencies of the controversy. Contextual constraints also forced the rhetors to adapt their messages. Each chapter of this dissertation examines a different rhetorical element of the controversy. They include the cultural context of South Africa's transition to democracy, the development of AIDS dissent in the Mbeki administration, the early development of AIDS dissent in the West, the technical clash of scientific arguments in Mbeki's Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel, and indigenous social movement resistance to the government's policies.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairLyne, Johnjlyne@pitt.eduJLYNE
Committee MemberMitchell, Gordongordonm@pitt.eduGORDONM
Committee MemberOlson, Lesterolson@pitt.eduOLSON
Committee MemberParker, Lisalisap@pitt.eduLISAP
Date: 6 July 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 9 December 2005
Approval Date: 6 July 2006
Submission Date: 18 April 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Communication: Rhetoric and Communication
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: AIDS dissent; rhetoric of science; science policy; South Africa; Thabo Mbeki
Other ID:, etd-04182006-133611
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:38
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:40


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