Beyond 'state pimpage': Insights from local leaders on HIV/AIDS prevention in the Dominican tourism industry Article

Connolly, MD, Padilla, MB, Reyes, AM et al. (2012). Beyond 'state pimpage': Insights from local leaders on HIV/AIDS prevention in the Dominican tourism industry . 22(3), 355-371. 10.1080/09581596.2012.688798

cited authors

  • Connolly, MD; Padilla, MB; Reyes, AM; Natsui, S

fiu authors


  • The literature on tourism in the Caribbean and elsewhere suggests that state actors are complicit with multinational tourism interests, acting as handmaidens of capital in developing nations. This has been referred to as 'state pimpage', the literal or metaphorical sale of local erotic resources for global exploitation. In the public health literature on HIV/AIDS, analysts have suggested that complicit states neglect HIV prevention services due to the presumed negative effects of explicitly addressing the HIV epidemic on the tourism industry, placing the government in direct opposition to local health initiatives. This article interrogates the theoretical assumptions behind the notion of state pimpage through in-depth interviews with policy makers in the Dominican Republic, including civil society, public sector, and private tourism representatives. While state pimpage presumes parity between global capitalist interests and state actions, our participants articulated three aspects of local experience that are inconsistent with this assumption: (1) states are relatively disempowered to impose standards due to the profit motive of tourism industries; (2) those with decision-making power in the tourism industry are disconnected from local health interests; and (3) states are relatively less capable of enacting health services in contrast to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), yet NGOs have little large-scale regulatory power. We suggest that while 'state pimpage' provides a starting point for understanding the complicity of certain state actors in global industries, it does not reflect the perceptions of local policy makers and may undercut the kinds of multisectoral action required for positive change in health and prevention services. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

publication date

  • September 1, 2012

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 355

end page

  • 371


  • 22


  • 3