Health and the democratic dividend in Sub-Saharan Africa: are democracies better at managing the HIV/AIDS epidemic?


  • Demi van Nes Universiteit Leiden



Democracy, HIV/AIDS, Sub-Saharan Africa, Democratic Dividend.


The democratic dividend theory states that democracies
should provide socio-economic benefits to their citizens.
Scholars suggest that the legitimacy of African democracies
is partly dependent on this dividend. Following this theory,
democracies should handle the HIV/AIDS epidemic better
than non-democracies because of their higher level of
accountability. A cross-national analysis is conducted to
investigate how a country’s level of democracy is associated
with respondents’ knowledge of HIV/AIDS and the provision
of HIV-testing places. The relationships between both
democracy and HIV-knowledge, and the provision of HIVtesting
places are non-significant. This can have implications
for how citizens view their regimes’ legitimacy.

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