Succeeding in Politics: Dynasties in Democracies

by Smith, Daniel Markham, Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO, 2012, 241 pages; 3539167


This dissertation examines the causes and electoral consequences of political dynasties in developed democracies. The researcher develops a model of candidate recruitment and selection to explain the persistence of "legacy politics" in some democracies, such as Japan, focusing in particular on electoral rules and internal party recruitment processes. This model is then tested using legislator-level biographical data from eight democracies, and an in-depth, candidate-level case study of Japan, where electoral reform has also resulted in party adaptation in candidate selection methods. The researcher finds that "legacy" candidates enjoy an "inherited incumbency advantage" in both the selection and election stages of their careers. However, the relative value of this inherited incumbency advantage varies significantly by the institutional contexts of the electoral system and the candidate recruitment process within parties.

AdviserKaare Strom
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsPolitical Science
Publication Number3539167

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