Political families are common across many countries in Asia, including Pakistan. Politicians from political families (PPFs) make decisions with the goal of maximizing the political prospects of the entire family, in contrast to non-PPFs, who maximize their individual political self-interest. This changes the impact they have on their country. Scholars find that the presence of PPFs is associated with significantly worse development and governance outcomes, including in Pakistan. However, we know much less about their impact on political outcomes. In this paper, we use original data from a 2018 systematic national survey of about 150 Pakistani politicians to investigate PPFs’ support for key democratic institutions and practices. We find that compared to non-PPFs, Pakistani PPFs are significantly more supportive of instrumentally useful institutions and practices such as free and fair elections, an independent judiciary, and a free media, but no different in their low level of support for human rights.
Political Families and Support for Democracy in Pakistan
Vineeta Yadav is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, Penn State University, State College, USA. She is the author of Religious Parties and the Politics of Civil Liberties (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), and Political Parties, Business Groups and Corruption in Developing Countries (Oxford University Press, 2011), and coauthor (with Bumba Mukherjee) of The Politics of Corruption in Dictatorships (Cambridge University Press, 2016). She gratefully acknowledges support from Penn State, which funded this research, and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback. My deepest thanks to the scholars and staff at the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies who fielded this challenging survey for me. Email: <email@example.com>
Vineeta Yadav; Political Families and Support for Democracy in Pakistan. Asian Survey 3 December 2020; 60 (6): 1044–1071. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/as.2020.60.6.1044
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