Nepotism

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Nepotism means favoring relatives because of their relationship rather than because of their abilities.

For example, if a manager employed or promoted a relative rather than a more qualified non-relative, that manager would be guilty of nepotism. Some biologists have suggested that a tendency towards nepotism is instinctive, a form of kin selection.

The word nepotism comes from the Latin word 'nepos', meaning "nephew". In the Middle Ages, some Catholic popes and bishops, who had taken vows of chastity, and therefore usually had no children of their own, gave their nephews positions of preference such as were often accorded by fathers to sons. Several popes are known to have elevated nephews and other relatives to the cardinalate. Often, such appointments were used as a means of continuing a papal "dynasty". For instance, Pope Callixtus III, of the Borgia family, made two of his nephews Cardinals; one of them, Rodrigo, later used his position as a Cardinal as a stepping stone to the papacy, becoming Pope Alexander VI. Coincidentally, Alexander—one of the most corrupt popes—elevated Alessandro Farnese, his mistress's brother, to the cardinalate; Farnese would later go on to become Pope Paul III. Paul also engaged in nepotism, appointing, for instance, two nephews (aged fourteen and sixteen) Cardinals. The practice was finally ended when Pope Innocent XII issued a bull in 1692. The papal bull prohibited popes in all times from bestowing estates, offices, or revenues on any relative, with the exception that one qualified relative (at most) could be made a Cardinal.

Nepotism is a common accusation in politics when the relative of a powerful figure ascends to similar power seemingly without appropriate qualifications. For example, when U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski, was elected Governor of Alaska, he appointed his daughter, State Representative Lisa Murkowski, to fill the remaining two years of his seat and was accused by some of nepotism. (Murkowski won reelection on her own in 2004.) John F. Kennedy was accused of nepotism for his appointment of his brother Robert Kennedy as Attorney General.

Other US examples include Hillary and Bill Clinton, as well as George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Jeb Bush.

Families elsewhere have also dominated politics of their homeland, such as Tun Abdul Razak, the second Prime Minister of Malaysia, and his son, Najib Tun Razak, the current Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. Many countries in Asia have this tilt towards dynastic rule. In India, the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has been ruling India for most part since Independence while other people in India have always given preference to their kith and kin in various states in India. In the Indian state of Bihar, the former Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav, widely known as one of the most corrupt Indian politicians,[citation needed] elevated his nearly-illiterate wife Rabri Devi to the post of Chief Minister, after a court ruling sentenced him on a corruption case making him unfit for the post. President of Maldives Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom once had 13 of his brothers, brothers inlaw and his class mates as members of his cabinet.

In Romania nepotism is very commonly used as a word describing a 'connection' (relationship) that allows a person to obtain a certain job. 'Nepot' in Romanian means "nephew". During communist rule, nepotism was often the only way of getting a good, well-paid job.

Nepotism has also been known humorously as payrola, after payola.[citation needed]

The popular British English expression "Bob's your uncle" is often thought to have originated when Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury promoted his nephew, Arthur Balfour, to the esteemed post of Chief Secretary for Ireland in what was widely seen as an act of nepotism.

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[edit] Anti-nepotism laws

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Most European and North American countries have made nepotism a legal offense through anti-nepotism laws.[citations needed] In American higher education so-called "anti-nepotism" practices preventing the hiring of married couples themselves have become illegal since the early 1970s, when they began to be viewed in the context of Affirmative Action as "discriminatory," particularly against women.<ref>American Calendar (Fall 1973); JSTOR restricted use.</ref>

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da:Nepotisme de:Nepotismus es:Nepotismo eo:Nepotismo fr:Népotisme it:Nepotismo he:נפוטיזם nl:Nepotisme no:Nepotisme pl:Nepotyzm pt:Nepotismo ru:Непотизм sk:Nepotizmus sr:Непотизам fi:Nepotismi sv:Nepotism

Nepotism

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