Monday, July 18, 2011

Are You Connected ?

What is nepotism ?

It is favoritism shown to relatives and friends, especially in business or political appointments.

Francis Fukayama in his new book The Origins of Political Order looks at China's dynasties in terms of nepotism, which he calls "patrimony." He noted the Han Dynasty was vulnerable to "the hardwired human tendency to make ties of kinship the primary criterion for conferring wealth, power and status."

The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, meaning "nephew."

Nepotism gained its name in Italy after several popes elevated nephews and other relatives to the cardinalate. The practice was finally ended in 1692 when the Pope prohibited popes in all times from bestowing estates, offices, or revenues on any relative.

The new name for nepotism in today's internet age, is networking.

And what is cronyism ?

It is favoritism shown to old friends without regard for their qualifications, to political appointments.

The word is derived from Greek chronios meaning long term.

Both nepotism and cronyism are often at work when political parties recruit candidates for public office.
So what's the problem?

According to senior Fellow Judy Nadler and Communications Director Miriam Schulman of Santa Clara University, the issue is competence.

For cabinet level positions, an executive will probably be drawn to experienced, qualified candidates, but historically, the lower down the ladder, the more likely for someone's brother-in-law to be slipped into a job for which he is not qualified.

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