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Nepotism is favouritism granted to relatives regardless of merit. The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, nepotis (m. "nephew"), from which modern Romanian nepot and Italian nipote and Catalan nebot, "nephew" or "grandchild" are also descended. For example, Romanian Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu filled the top posts in the country and the ruling Party with his siblings, nephews, nieces, and in-laws, as well as giving increasing power to his wife, Elena—she officially held the title of Deputy Prime Minister, and by the early 1980s she was placed in charge of the country when Nicolae was away on tours abroad.
Nepotism got its name after the church practice in the Middle Ages, when some Catholic popes and bishops, who had taken vows of chastity, and therefore usually had no legitimate offspring of their own, gave their nephews such positions of preference as were often accorded by fathers to son.
For instance, Pope Callixtus III, head 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. Alexander then elevated Alessandro Farnese, his mistress's brother, to cardinal; Farnese would later go on to become Pope Paul III.
Paul also engaged in nepotism, appointing, for instance, two nephews, aged 14 and 16, as cardinals. The practice was finally ended when Pope Innocent XII issued the bull Romanum decet Pontificem, 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.
Coincidentally, the Church of the East from the 16th to the 19th centuries made the Patriarch a hereditary title, being passed down from Patriarch-uncle to nephew; however, this move was initiated in the face of Timur's destruction of Nestorian Monasteries throughout Asia (monks being the key source of priests and patriarchs for the Church), in an attempt to guarantee the existence of a patriarch. This proved to be a catalyst for the schism that exists today between Chaldean Catholics and Assyrian "Nestorians".
Types of nepotism 
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Nepotism is a common accusation in politics when the relative of a powerful figure ascends to similar power seemingly without appropriate qualifications. The British English expression "Bob's your uncle" is 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, which was widely seen as an act of nepotism.
Over the past decade, criticism has been growing over the creation of political dynasties in Belgium, in which all of the traditional political parties have been involved. This phenomenon has been explained by the fact that prominent party members control the ranking of candidates on party lists for elections and a candidate's place on a list determines whether or not he or she is elected. Another justification for the phenomenon is the importance of name recognition for collecting votes.
Jean-Jacques De Gucht, the son of former minister and current European Commissioner for Trade Policy Karel De Gucht, was placed at the top of the electoral list for the Flemish Liberals in the 2007 federal elections for the East Flanders region and subsequently appointed to the Senate at age 27.
Melchior Wathelet, Jr., the son of Melchior Wathelet, Sr. who was minister in several Belgian and Walloon governments and the mayor of Verviers, is currently the junior minister of budget, asylum and immigration, and family policy, and became, at age 26, the leader of the French-speaking Christian Democrat fraction in the Belgian parliament.
Bruno Tobback, the son of former minister and mayor of Leuven Louis Tobback, a member of the Flemish socialists, became the Belgian federal government's minister for the environment at 34. In 2011, he succeeded Caroline Gennez as head of the Flemish socialist party, SPA.
Prime Minister Hun Sen and senior members of Parliament, are also known for their hand in getting family members into government positions. In the 2013 Cambodian parliamentary elections, at least eight candidates standing in the upcoming July election are sons of high-ranking Cambodian People’s Party officials. 
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In October 2009, Jean Sarkozy was poised to become EPAD's director despite lacking a diploma and professional experience. To his credit, he broke rank from supporting his father's protégé in Neuilly-sur-Seine, the town for which Sarkozy served as mayor, and joined another party's ticket and was voted regional councillor of Neuilly-sur-Seine.
Pierre Sarkozy, first son of then President Nicolas Sarkozy, asked SCPP for a financial help in September 2009 of around €10000 towards an (€80000) artistic project. Because he was not a SCPP member, the request was automatically rejected. Sarkozy then went to the Élysée which lead to an Élysée counsel contacting the SCPP, and SCPP president Marc Guez assuring the issue would soon be favorably resolved. According to Abeille Music president and SCPP member Yves Riesel, however, this would not happen as SCPP's financial help has been restricted to members only for months.
Elena Băsescu, the daughter of President Traian Băsescu, was elected in 2009 to the European Parliament, despite the fact the she had no significant professional or political experience. Although an independent candidate, her candidacy was supported by the staff of the Democrat-Liberal Party (PD-L), her father's party. Elena Udrea, a key member of PD-L, "donated" the campaign headquarters and Monica Iacob Ridzi, the Minister of Sports, openly spent government money to help Elena Băsescu achieve candidacy.[not in citation given]
Northern Ireland 
Many Northern Irish politicians employ family members. In 2008, 19 elected politicians of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) directly employed family members and relatives constituted 27 of its 136 staff.
There is Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1980 to 2001: his son, Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisachs, has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 2001, while his daughter, Maria Teresa Samaranch Salisachs, has been president of the Spanish Federation of Sports on Ice since 2005. In Spanish Colonial America, the offices were bought with money or due to nepotism or influences more than merit.
Sri Lanka 
Mahinda Rajapaksa has been accused of nepotism, appointing three brothers to run important ministries and other political positions for relatives, regardless of their merit. The Rajapaksa family hold the ministries of finance, defence, ports and aviation, highways and road development. The president's brother, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, was given the post of Defence Secretary. He also controls the armed forces, the police and the Coast Guard, and is responsible for immigration and emigration. Rajapaksa appointed his brother Basil Rajapaksa as minister of Economic Development. Together, the Rajapaksa brothers control over 70% of Sri Lanka's public budget. Mahinda Rajapaksa's eldest brother, Chamal Rajapaksa, is also the current Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, and has held many other posts before, while his eldest son, Namal Rajapaksa, is also a member of the parliament and holds undisclosed portfolios.
Others include: his nephew, Shashindra Rajapaksa, who is the Chief minister of Uva; one of his cousins, the Sri Lankan ambassador to the United States, Jaliya Wickramasuriya; and another cousin, Udayanga Weeratunga, who is the ambassador to Russia. Dozens of nephews, nieces, cousins, and in-laws have also been appointed as heads of banks, boards, and corporations.
President Hugo Chávez and Cilia Flores, president of the Venezuela National Assembly, are also known for their hand in getting family members into government positions. Flores managed to place relatives in as many as nine permanent positions at the National Assembly: three siblings; two nephews; a cousin; the mother of that cousin; her mother-in-law; and an aunt.
United Kingdom 
In February 2010, Sir Christopher Kelly, chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said that more than 200 MPs used Parliamentary allowances to employ their own relatives in a variety of office roles. He suggested that the practice should be banned.
In 2005, Councillor Ann Reid of York arranged for all nine sets of traffic lights on her daughter Hannah's wedding route through York to be switched to green for the five-car convoy. As a result, the wedding party took only 10 minutes to pass through the city.
The members of the House of Lords traditionally inherited their seats from their fathers. Following the enactment of the House of Lords Act 1999, all but 92 of the hereditary peers lost their right to sit in the upper chamber. As the remaining 92 hereditary peers die their seat in the House of Lords will not be passed on to their descendants (although they will still inherit the title).
North Yorkshire Police's Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell was disciplined by the IPCC in 2011, but refused to resign, after admitting that he assisted a relative through the first stages of a recruitment process 
United States 
In December 2012, a report from Washingtonpost, indicate various nepotism practices from D.C Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA). One of the reasons was “But if [only if] they’re qualified and competed for it on their own, I don’t see a problem with relatives working in the same organization.” The relatives are mom, daughter, son-in-law, son, daughter-in-law, and brother. Under pressure from Congress and the Transporation Department’s inspector general, the authority seems to have begun cleaning up its act.[clarification needed]
In entertainment 
Outside of national politics, accusations of "nepotism" are made in instances of prima facie favoritism to relatives, in such cases as:
- Peaches Geldof's role as magazine editor in an MTV reality show - produced by a company owned by her father Bob Geldof. In a sketch of The Kevin Bishop Show, which frequently has less-than-flattering fake perfume adverts for celebrities, there was one for Peaches Geldof: "Nepotism, the smell of Peaches Geldof." Before this, a mock voice said: "I'm a fashion model, a TV presenter, and I'm a journalist as well .... Did I mention my dad's Bob Geldof?"
- Hollywood's The Coppola family includes many distinguished filmmakers and actors. The careers of Sofia Coppola, Nicolas Cage, and Jason Schwartzman have been attributed to aid by director Francis Ford Coppola, who cast his daughter Sofia in The Godfather Part III. Cage changed his last name in order to distance himself from such charges.
In business 
Nepotism is not uncommon in the business world. Arguments are made both for and against employment granted due to a family connection. On one hand, nepotism can provide stability and continuity. Critics cite studies that demonstrate decreased morale and commitment from non-related employees , and a generally negative attitude towards superior positions filled through nepotism. An article from Forbes magazine stated "there is no ladder to climb when the top rung is reserved for people with a certain name." 
There are however many cases of family hires becoming very successful, even among large corporations.
One-time Guardian contributor Max Gogarty has also been accused of taking advantage of family connections to achieve success disproportionate to his ability; his father, Paul Gogarty, is a frequent travel writer for the newspaper.
Difference between nepotism and cronyism 
Nepotism differs from cronyism primarily as nepotism refers to partiality to family whereas cronyism refers to partiality to friends, significant others, or acquaintances. Forced cronyism may be due to political promises whereas nepotism under duress is generally due to social pressure.
See also 
- Modern Language Association (MLA):"nepotism." The American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. 10 Aug. 2009. Dictionary.com.
- "Article Nepotism". New Catholic Dictionary. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
- "Article Pope Alexander VI". New Catholic Dictionary. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
- "Article Pope Paul III". Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
- From Aristotelian to Reaganomics: A Dictionary of Eponyms With Biographies in the Social Science, by R. C. S. Trahair, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1994, page 72. Retrieved online from Google Books, Jul 30, 2012.
- Houghton, Des (2008-06-28). "Anna Bligh's Labor in trouble in the polls". Couriermail, 28 June 2008. Retrieved on 2009-08-17 from http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23931778-5012449,00.html.
- "Politiek België is familiezaak - Buitenland - Telegraaf.nl [24 uur actueel, ook mobiel] [buitenland]". Telegraaf.nl. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- "Can women enter the final bastion -- the all-male boardroom". Time. 2003-09-22. Retrieved 2010-05-20.[dead link]
- [dead link]
- Auteur: Karel Van Keymeulen. "De Standaard Online - Willy De Clercq is zijn geheugen kwijt". Standaard.be. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- "Alexander De Croo wil voorzitter Open Vld worden". Gva.be. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- "Sons of the party anointed". Meas Sokchea. 2013-05-06. Retrieved 2013-05-06.
- "Poll shows majority against job for Sarkozy's son". Reuters.com. 2009-10-16. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- "Népotisme et Sarkozysme, acte II (màj)". Electronlibre.info. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- "Après Jean, un coup de pouce de l'Elysée pour Pierre Sarkozy". Rue89.com. 2011-01-19. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- "Après Jean, l'Elysée se met au service de Pierre Sarkozy". Liberation.fr. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- "How daughter of Romanian President Basescu will be elected MEP as an independent with help from Basescu's supporting party". English.hotnews.ro. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- "DUP's two tribes", Belfast Telegraph, 22 February 2008
- "La larga carrera de un hombre polifacético", El País, 21 April 2010. (Spanish)
- "A war strange as fiction". The Economist. 2007-06-07.
- Nov 11, 2010 (2010-11-11). "Asia Times Online :: South Asia news, business and economy from India and Pakistan". Atimes.com. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- "Nacional y Política - eluniversal.com" (in (Spanish)). Buscador.eluniversal.com. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- "Ban on MP spouse jobs 'essential'". BBC News. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
- Stokes, Paul (18 October 2005). "Councillor turns lights green for daughter's wedding". The Telegraph (York, UK). Retrieved 2011-12-09.
- "Chief constable remains despite calls for resignation". BBC News (North Yorkshire, UK). 12 May 2011.
- Lawrence M. Salinger (2005). Encyclopedia of white-collar & corporate crime, Volume 2 2. pp. 374–375.
- Thomson, Cheryl W. (8 December 2012). "D.C. airport authority employment is frequently a family affair". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "Peaches Geldof bags TV reality show as magazine editor". Sundaymirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- "EXTRA: Nepotism in the Director's Chair at". Hollywood.com. 2000-04-21. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- "Nothing is true, everything is permitted - Coppola nepotism hate". Spiritof1976.livejournal.com. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- Nicolas Cage - imdb biography
- Gogarty, Max (2008-02-14). "Max, 19, hits the road". The Guardian (London).
Further reading 
- "American Calendar" in American Quarterly 25.4 (October 1973): 493-96.
- "Nepotism: is it back?" New Statesman, September 29, 2003.
|Look up nepotism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Nepotism|
- Booknotes interview with Adam Bellow on In Praise of Nepotism: A Natural History, August 24, 2003.