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Nepotism and the Commitment of Relevant Parties

Thomas E. Becker

University of Delaware

Nepotism is favoritism to a relative on the basis of a personal relationship (“Nepotism,” 2001b). It is often seen as a person with power favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs. According to the New Oxford American Dictionary (“Nepotism,” 2001a), the origin of the word dates from the 17th century and derives from the French népotisme, meaning nephew. This etymology refers to privileges bestowed on the “nephews” of popes who were in many cases their illegitimate sons. Thus, from the beginning, the concept of nepotism has carried with it a rather seedy connotation involving the misuse of power and having something to hide.

Although under ...

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