Nepotism is the act of favoring one's family members in a situation where doing so is considered inappropriate. For instance, a manager in a firm is generally expected to promote the most competent persons, in order that the firm may succeed. For that manager to promote an incompetent relative over a more-qualified employee is nepotism.

The word nepotism comes from the Latin word for nephew.

Some biologists have suggested that a tendency towards nepotism is instinctual, a form of kin selection.

Nepotism is a common accusation in politics when the relative of a powerful figure ascends to similar power seemingly without appropriate qualifications. Politically powerful families such as the Kennedy family and Bush family in American politics are sometimes accused of nepotism by critics.

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