Sparks and embers: The HIV/AIDS pandemic, public administration and international relations in the twenty-first century

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science


Mehrzad Borougjerdi


HIV/AIDS, AIDS, Public administration, International relations, Twenty-first century, Immune deficiency

Subject Categories

Public Administration


The HIV/AIDS pandemic is a transnational health crisis challenging every nation-state in the world today. In this dissertation, the experiences of Australian, Cuban, Ugandan and Thai National AIDS Programs (NAPs) are compared through the application of standardized performance measures, observation of various contextual dimensions, and the use of principal component factor analysis. The findings of this research are used to assess the success or failure of these specific NAPs as well as the state of the international effort to control the pandemic. Additionally, linkages between existing research programs in the fields of public administration and international relations are established as a result of this study. Finally, a theory of political ecology is advanced that seeks to explain, in a systemic manner, how the actions of agents, the structures they operate within, and the natural environment interact in a dynamic and fluid fashion.

The findings of my dissertation indicate that in the four countries examined, while a great many influences determine the successful managing of HIV/AIDS spread, empowering women economically, socially, culturally and politically can play a central role in staving off a dramatic epidemic. Further, I believe this study points out that the fields of public administration and international relations have room to begin a dialogue on the changing nature and structure of nation-states. Finally, this research highlights the need for political theory to envision and include the natural environment as an active, rather than passively dominated, element in human political affairs.


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