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Nepotism is based on favoritism granted to relatives in various fields, including business, politics, entertainment, sports, religion and other activities. The term originated with the assignment of nephews to important positions by Catholic popes and bishops.
Nepotism has been criticized since the ancient times by several philosophers, including Aristotle, Valluvar, and Confucius. For instance, the ancient Indian philosopher Valluvar condemned nepotism as both evil and unwise.
The term comes from Italian word nepotismo,which is based on Latin root nepos meaning nephew. Since the Middle Ages and until the late 17th century, 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.
Several popes elevated nephews and other relatives to the cardinalate. Often, such appointments were a means of continuing a papal "dynasty".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 III also engaged in nepotism, appointing, for instance, two nephews, aged 14 and 16, as cardinals. The practice was finally limited 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.
In the second book of the Kural literature, which forms a manual for governments and corporations, Valluvar suggests about nepotism and favouritism thus: "If you choose an unfit person for your job just because you love and you like him, he will lead you to endless follies."According to him, nepotism is both evil and unwise.
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.
Nepotism can also occur within organizations, when a person is employed due to their familial ties. It is generally seen as unethical, both on the part of the employer and employee.
Nepotism at work can mean increased opportunity at a job, attaining the job or being paid more than other similarly situated people.Arguments are made both for and against employment granted due to a family connection, which is most common in small, family run businesses. 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." Some businesses forbid nepotism as an ethical matter, considering it too troublesome and disruptive.
Outside of national politics, accusations of "nepotism" are made in instances of prima facie favoritism to relatives, in such cases as:
Anna Bligh, who won the 2009 Queensland State election, has been accused of nepotism by giving her husband Greg Withers a position as the Office of Climate Change head.
Shortly after his appointment as the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney in 2001, Peter Jensen was accused, in an Australian Broadcasting Corporation interview, of nepotism after nominating his brother Phillip Jensen as Dean of Sydney and appointing his wife Christine Jensen to an official position in the Sydney diocese.
On 21 February 2017, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev appointed his wife Mehriban Aliyeva to be Vice President of Azerbaijan.
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.
Claims of nepotism have been made against Bruno Tobback, the son of senator and former minister Louis Tobback, a member of the Flemish socialists, became the Belgian federal government's minister for the pensions and environment at 35 in 2005.Alexander De Croo, the son of former speaker of the Belgian parliament Herman De Croo, ran for the leadership of his father's party Open VLD at age 33. Finally there is the example of Maya Detiège, the daughter of former mayor of the city of Antwerp Leona Detiège, who herself is the daughter of the former mayor of Antwerp Frans Detiège. Among other examples are former minister Freya Vandenbossche and senator Jean Jacques De Gucht, being the daughter and son of respectively former minister Luc Vandenbossche and former minister Karel De Gucht.
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.All ruling party sons lost, but were appointed into high government positions.
For the past 3,000 years, nepotism has been common in China's clan and extended family based culture. Confucius wrote about the importance of balancing "filial piety with merit". The clan-based feudal system collapsed during Confucius' lifetime, yet nepotism has continued through the modern age. [ zh ], was believed to have his career "expedited" through the intervention of his uncle, Li Jianguo, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the National People’s Congress. Hui was made the youngest member and secretary of Jining's Municipal Standing Committee at the age of 32.For instance, Zhang Hui
In October 2009, Jean Sarkozy, the second son of the President of the French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy, was poised to become the director of the major EPADauthority despite lacking any higher education degree and professional experience. In 2008 he was voted regional councillor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, the town of which his father had previously been mayor.
In September 2009, rap-producer Pierre Sarkozy, the first son of then President Nicolas Sarkozy, asked SCPP [ fr ] for a financial contribution of around €10000 towards an €80000 artistic project. Because he was not a SCPP member, the request was automatically rejected. Pierre Sarkozy then went to the Élysée which led to an Élysée aide contacting the SCPP, and SCPP president Marc Guez assuring the issue would soon be favorably resolved. According to Abeille Music [ fr ] president and SCPP member Yves Riesel, however, this would not happen as SCPP's financial help has been restricted to members only for months.
Corruption goes hand in hand with nepotism in India. It goes on in government and private jobs both. Nepotism is common in politics, business and in the movie industry. It goes on even in religious circles, arts, industry, and other types of organizations. Many members of parliament and the Legislative Assembly have a generations-long legacy of nepotic allocation of constituencies to their relatives.[ citation needed ] The Bajaj family is related to the Birla family which itself is related to the Biyani family by marriage. The Kapoor families,[ clarification needed ] and many other Indian movie actors have brought their children into the movie industry with their endorsements. Moreover, dynasty in politics remains. Rahul Gandhi, Vice-President of the Indian National Congress party, is a descendent of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi & Rajiv Gandhi. Cricket is also affected with nepotism in the form of Stuart Binny and Rohan Gavaskar.
Romanian Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu's family members "dominated" the country for decades.Elena Băsescu, the daughter of President Traian Băsescu, was elected in 2009 to the European Parliament, despite the fact that she had no significant professional or political experience.
Singapore's government has been the target of numerous charges of nepotism, with several members of the Prime Minister's family holding high posts. The family members dispute the charges as they arise.
Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisachs, son of Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1980 to 2001, has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 2001, and his daughter, Maria Teresa Samaranch Salisachs, has been president of the Spanish Federation of Sports on Ice since 2005.
Nepotism occurred in Spanish Colonial America when offices were given to family members.
Former President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has been accused of nepotism, appointing three brothers to run important ministries and giving out other political positions to relatives, regardless of their merit. During his presidency, the Rajapaksa family held the ministries of finance, defence, ports and aviation, and highways and road development. The president's brother, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, was given the post of Defence Secretary. He also controlled the armed forces, the police and the Coast Guard, and was responsible for immigration and emigration. Rajapaksa appointed his brother Basil Rajapaksa as minister of Economic Development. Together, the Rajapaksa brothers controlled over 70% of Sri Lanka's public budget. Mahinda Rajapaksa's eldest brother, Chamal Rajapaksa, was appointed as the 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 former Chief minister of Uva; one of his cousins, former Sri Lankan ambassador to the United States, Jaliya Wickramasuriya; and another cousin, Udayanga Weeratunga, who is the former ambassador to Russia. Dozens of nephews, nieces, cousins, and in-laws have also been appointed as heads of banks, boards, and corporations.
The Marquess of Salisbury, who was Prime Minister for three separate occasions from 1885-1902 for a total of approximately 14 years, appointed his nephew Arthur Balfour as Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1887 and later as Prime Minister in 1902. This is supposedly the origin of the phrase Bob's Your Uncle.
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.
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.
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.
Palm Beach County, Florida schools reinforced nepotism rules as of 2012 to ensure an "equitable work environment".
In December 2012, a report from the Washington Post indicated various nepotism practices from the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia's Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), including one family with five members working for the MWAA. One of the reasons given by the associate general counsel to defend the alleged nepotism was "if [the employees are] qualified and competed for [the positions] on their own, I don’t see a problem with relatives working in the same organization."The inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Congress pressured the MWAA to resolve practices of nepotism. Authority employees are no longer allowed to directly or indirectly influence hiring or promotion of relatives, as documented in their ethics policy.
In 2016, Philadelphia 76ers chairman of basketball operations Jerry Colangelo named his son Bryan Colangelo his general manager without a thorough search for the position.
Around 30 family members or relatives of President Ulysses S. Grant prospered financially in some way from either government appointments or employment.
John F. Kennedy made his brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver, the first director of the Peace Corps and his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, Attorney General.
In 1979, Bill Clinton, within weeks of being newly elected as Governor of Arkansas, appointed his wife Hillary to chair of the Rural Health Advisory Committee.In 1993, newly elected as President of the United States, he again appointed his wife to chair a Task Force on National Health Care Reform. In 2013, Bill appointed his daughter Chelsea a member of the governing board of the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative.
In 2017, President Donald Trump appointed both his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his daughter Ivanka (married to Kushner) into advisory roles to the president.Neither Jared nor Ivanka take a salary, and "advisor" is not an official tax-paid government employee position.
Current (since 1995) US court rulings have held that the White House itself does not constitute an "agency" for the purposes of adhering to existing anti-nepotism laws on the books.
Nepotism is known to be practiced by President of the Venezuela National Assembly, Cilia Flores. Nine positions in the National Assembly were filled by Flores' family members, including a mother-in-law, aunt, 3 siblings, a cousin and her mother, and 2 nephews.
The late Robert Mugabe was reported to be preparing his wife Grace Mugabe to be the next president of Zimbabwe while he was president.Vice President Joice Mujuru was previously considered to be the favored successor to Mugabe.
Nepotism refers to partiality to family whereas cronyism refers to partiality to an associate or friend. Favoritism, the broadest of the terms, refers to partiality based upon being part of a favored group, rather than job performance.
Pope Alexander VIII, born Pietro Vito Ottoboni, was Pope from 6 October 1689 to his death in 1691. He is to date the last pope to take the pontifical name of "Alexander" upon his election to the papacy.
Pope Gregory XV, born Alessandro Ludovisi, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 9 February 1621 to his death in 1623.
Pope Urban VII, born Giovanni Battista Castagna, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 15 to 27 September 1590. His twelve-day papacy was the shortest in history.
Pope Innocent XII, born Antonio Pignatelli, was Pope from 12 July 1691 to his death in 1700.
Pope Julius III, born Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 7 February 1550 to his death in 1555.
Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa is a retired French politician who served as President of France and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra from 16 May 2007 until 15 May 2012.
Percy Mahendra Rajapaksa commonly known as Mahinda Rajapaksa is a Sri Lankan politician currently serving as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka since 21 November 2019 after being appointed by his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Gotabaya Rajapaksa gained victory in the 2019 Sri Lankan presidential election and became President on 18 November 2019, two days before he announced that he will name his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa to return as the new Prime Minister after two occasions in the same position. Mahinda will be swearing-in as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and officially taking over the office again on 21 November 2019, Thursday and serving under his brother, the President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister. He also previously served as Leader of the Opposition from 2018 to 2019, when he turned to take over as Prime Minister from his predecessor Ranil Wickremesinghe. Additionally, he has also served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Kurunegala since 2015. He served as the President of Sri Lanka and Leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party from 2005 to 2015. He became the leader of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna in 2019, splitting the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.
The Barberini are a family of the Italian nobility that rose to prominence in 17th century Rome. Their influence peaked with the election of Cardinal Maffeo Barberini to the papal throne in 1623, as Pope Urban VIII. Their urban palace, the Palazzo Barberini, completed in 1633 by Bernini, today houses Italy's Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica.
Pope Paul III and His Grandsons is a painting in oil on canvas by Titian, housed in the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples. It was commissioned by the Farnese family and painted during Titian's visit to Rome between autumn 1545 and June 1546. It depicts the scabrous relationship between Pope Paul III and his grandsons, Ottavio and Alessandro Farnese. Ottavio is shown in the act of kneeling, to his left; Alessandro, wearing a cardinal's dress, stands behind him to his right. The painting explores the effects of ageing and the manoeuvring behind succession; Paul was at the time in his late seventies and ruling in an uncertain political climate as Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor came into ascendancy.
Antonio Barberini was an Italian Catholic cardinal, Archbishop of Reims, military leader, patron of the arts and a prominent member of the House of Barberini. As one of the cardinal-nephews of Pope Urban VIII and a supporter of France, he played a significant role at a number of the papal conclaves of the 17th century. With his brothers Cardinal Francesco Barberini and Taddeo Barberini he helped to shape politics, religion, art and music of 17th century Italy. He is sometimes referred to as Antonio the Younger or Antonio Barberini iuniore to distinguish him from his uncle Antonio Marcello Barberini.
A cardinal-nephew was a cardinal elevated by a pope who was that cardinal's relative. The practice of creating cardinal-nephews originated in the Middle Ages, and reached its apex during the 16th and 17th centuries. The last cardinal-nephew was named in 1689 and the practice was extinguished in 1692. The word nepotism originally referred specifically to this practice, when it appeared in the English language about 1669. From the middle of the Avignon Papacy (1309–1377) until Pope Innocent XII's anti-nepotism bull, Romanum decet pontificem (1692), a pope without a cardinal-nephew was the exception to the rule. Every Renaissance pope who created cardinals appointed a relative to the College of Cardinals, and the nephew was the most common choice, although one of Alexander VI's creations was his own son.
Carlo Carafa of a distinguished family of Naples, vicious and talented was successively condottiero in the service of France and of Spain, vying for their protectorates in Italy until 1555, when he was made a cardinal, to 1559 the all-powerful favourite and Cardinal Nephew of Pope Paul IV Carafa, whose policies he directed and whom he served as papal legate in Paris, Venice and Brussels. According to the Jesuit, later Cardinal, Francesco Sforza Pallavicino, writing the history of the Council of Trent, his subtlety of spirit and grace of address, physical courage and instinct for glory were overridden by his insatiable thirst for power.
The papal conclave of 1667 was convened on the death of Pope Alexander VII and ended with the election of Giulio Rospigliosi as Pope Clement IX. The conclave was dominated by factions loyal to the cardinal nephews of Alexander VII and Urban VIII. It saw the continued existence of the Squadrone Volante, or Flying Squadron, that had emerged in the 1655 conclave. The conclave also saw Spain and France, the two largest Catholic powers at the time, both support Rospigliosi's election as pope. Ultimately, Rospigliosi's election was achieved when the French ambassador bribed Flavio Chigi, Alexander's nephew, to support Rospigliosi. Following the conclave all the parties believed they had elected the pope that they had wanted.
Jean Nicolas Brice Sárközy de Nagy-Bócsa is the son of the former President of France Nicolas Sarkozy. Jean is a regional councillor in the city of Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, and registered as a first-year law student at Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University in 2007. He is a backroom activist for his father's Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), a center-right party.
George Rajapaksa was a Sri Lankan politician. He was the former Cabinet Minister of Health, Fisheries and a Member of Parliament.
The papal conclave of 1644 was called upon the death of Pope Urban VIII. It lasted from 9 August to 15 September 1644; the cardinal electors chose Giovanni Battista Pamphili, who took office as Pope Innocent X.
Francesco Maidalchini was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Rajapaksa family is a Sri Lankan family that is prominent in politics. It was one of Sri Lanka's most powerful families during Mahinda Rajapaksa's Presidency, where many members of the family occupied their senior positions in the Sri Lankan state. As their political power grew, there were reports suggesting that the country was heading towards autocracy under their rule. Following the unexpected defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa in the 2015 Presidential Election, they have been accused of authoritarianism, corruption, nepotism and bad governance. In 2019 Presidential election Gotabaya Rajapaksa, brother of Mahinda Rajapaksa contested and gained a majority victory.
The Papal nobility is the nobility of the Holy See. Few Pontifical titles, other than personal nobility granted by individual entry into the several Pontifical equestrian orders, have been granted since the election of Pope John XXIII, though Pope John Paul II ennobled several distinguished individuals during his pontificate, as did Pope Benedict XVI, through the Vatican Secretariat of State. Those granted included prince, duke, marquis, count, and baron. The papal nobility are, as such, part of the Papal Court reformed via the 1968 apostolic letter Pontificalis Domus, which reorganized the Court into the Pontifical Household. Papal titles of nobility were specifically recognized by Italy in the 1929 Lateran Treaty establishing the Vatican City State and recognizing the sovereignty of the Holy See. In 1969 the Italian Council of State determined that the provision of the Lateran Treaty concerning the recognition of papal titles that was incorporated into the Italian Constitution was still valid and therefore that their use in Italy was still licit. No provision, however, has been made for their use in Italian passports, identity cards or civil state registries.
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