Thursday, March 13, 2008

Go forth, multiply...and rule?

From a great political science blog, The Monkey Cage, on dynastic succession in democratic and non-democratic countries:

How, then, to ensure that one can trust one’s likely successor to carry on as one would wish? Because blood is thicker than water, the safest route is to keep it all in the family. For the leader of a non-democratic system, then, the best way to assure a “trustworthy succession match” is to sire a whole lot of children, in hopes that by the luck of the genetic draw one of them will turn out to be a "person who can successfully maintain the regime..."

By contrast, leaders in democratic systems find themselves more hemmed in by those bothersome checks and balance, and so many people besides the leader have a say in the choice of their successor that democratic leaders can’t do all that much to determine who is next in the line of succession anyway.

From these considerations...leaders of non-democratic systems will sire more children than their democratic counterparts, in hopes of finding the trustworthy succession match that they so avidly seek.

Sounds pretty far-fetched, doesn’t it?

...based on the composition of the families of 221 leaders worldwide and a wide array of country- and leader-level data, indicate that the leaders of non-democracies do indeed produce more offspring than the leaders of democracies...

Read the discussion and link to the original article here.