Taking Aim: Target Populations and the Wars on AIDS and Drugs
by Mark C. Donovan
Georgetown University Press, 2001
Paper: 978-0-87840-829-0
Library of Congress Classification RA644.A25D66 2001
Dewey Decimal Classification 362.196979200973


As elected lawmakers confront complex social problems, they inevitably make choices to single out certain populations for government-sanctioned benefits or burdens. Why some groups and not others are targeted is the central question explored in this analysis of the congressional response to two related public health crises.

Weaving case studies from the wars against AIDS and drugs with an empirical analysis of fifteen years of congressional action on these issues, Mark Donovan shows how members of Congress balance problem solving with re-election concerns, paying particular attention to their need to craft compelling rationales for their actions. His analysis shows that, counterintuitive as it may seem, most target populations with negative public images are selected to receive benefits rather than burdens.

Demonstrating that it is possible to analyze simultaneously both policy rhetoric and policy outputs, this book shows how problem frames and policy decisions evolve through the dynamic interplay of conflict participants.

See other books on: AIDS (Disease) | Drug abuse | Health Policy | Medical policy | Wars
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