Chapter 5: Institutional Conditions for Social Movements to Engage in Formal Politics: The Case of AIDS Activism in Post-Apartheid South Africa
Kumiko Makino INTRODUCTION Well over ten years have passed since apartheid ended and the former liberation movement, the African National Congress (ANC), was voted into power in South Africa in 1994. Tackling the legacy of apartheid is quite a tough task on its own, but the newly transformed society has had to face another crisis – namely HIV/AIDS. With more than 5 million people living with the virus, South Africa is one of the countries most severely affected by HIV/AIDS in the world. In addition to the gravity of the crisis, South Africa has also attracted attention as a major site of struggle for access to antiretroviral drugs, used for preventing mother-to-childtransmission of HIV, and for prolonging the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS in the developing world. At the center of the struggle has been the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), a South African social movement on HIV/AIDS. The salient feature of TAC is its strategy to utilize both informal and formal measures to pursue its goals. TAC has organized numerous protest marches and demonstrations, and on several occasions has even broken laws deliberately to show its impatience. At the same time, TAC has utilized formal channels, namely legal procedures and institutions for policy consultation created by the government. This chapter examines factors that have contributed to TAC’s ability to utilize both informal and formal channels. We focus on this point because we presume TAC’s success is due to the effective combination of informal and formal measures to achieve its goals....
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