Negative selection (politics)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Negative selection is a political process that occurs especially in rigid hierarchies, most notably dictatorships, but also to lesser degrees in such settings as corporations or electoral politics.

The person on the top of the hierarchy, wishing to remain in power forever, chooses his associates with the prime criterion of incompetence – they must not be competent enough to remove him from power. Since subordinates often mimic their leader, these associates do the same with those below them in the hierarchy, and the hierarchy is progressively filled with more and more incompetent people.

If the dictator sees that he is threatened nonetheless, he will remove those that threaten him from their positions – "purge" the hierarchy. Emptied positions in the hierarchy are normally filled with people from below – those who were less competent than their previous masters. So, over the course of time, the hierarchy becomes less and less effective. Once the dictator dies – or is removed by some external influence – what remains is a grossly ineffective hierarchy.

See also[edit]

  • Mushroom management – Term used to describe the running of a company where the communication channels between the managers and the employees do not work properly
  • Kakistocracy – A system of government which is run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens
  • Tall poppy syndrome – Aversion to the success of one's peers


  • Fajgelj, Andrej (2009-10-14). Негативна селекција. NSPM (in Serbian). Retrieved 2009-10-14.
  • Egorov, Georgy, and Konstantin Sonin. "Incumbency Advantage in Non-Democratic Elections." Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago. 2011.
  • Neo-Feudalism Explained