The South African government’s open challenging of the international AIDS control regime presents a paradox for the study of international regimes and epistemic communities: why would a state that would presumably benefit the most from a regime not only refuse to adhere to its precepts, but openly challenge its basic tenets? I argue that a fundamental disjuncture exists between the international AIDS control regime and the South African government, and that this disjuncture is rooted in the country’s negative past experiences with public health interventions and the attempts to forge a new, African Renaissance-inspired self-identity. This disjuncture finds its expression through the development of a counter-epistemic community which offers scientific expertise and policy recommendations to the South African government. The counter-epistemic community translates history and identity into policy outcomes that challenge the established discourse.
- South Africa
- epistemic communities