Organized Panel Session
In Asia, political dynasties are pervasive in countries as diverse as Japan, Thailand, and India––countries that otherwise differ in terms of economic development, culture, religion, and political institutions. The phenomenon of dynastic politics poses a normative concern for democratic theorists, as an overabundance may signal inequalities in power and a disconnect from the ideals of representative democracy. Many scholars have also worried that dynastic representation may result in worse outcomes in terms of governance.
This panel brings together four papers at the forefront of comparative research on dynasties in Asian democracies. Three papers use country cases to carefully explore major research questions in a controlled setting, while one paper is cross-national in scope. Each paper sheds new and important light on how dynastic ties affect a politician’s electoral success or behavior once in office. The first two papers focus on variation in the advantages of dynastic ties for getting elected at the subnational and national (executive) level in Indonesia and across the region (and in the latter case, how these ties interact with gender). The second two papers focus on the consequences of dynasties for public works provision and development in the Philippines and Pakistan, respectively.
In additional to the diversity of research questions and country cases, this panel is diverse in terms of career stage (graduate student, junior faculty, senior faculty), gender, institutional affiliation, and methodological approach. Panelists come from Asia and the US, making this a truly international gathering for intellectual dialogue and exchange.