Political families and support for democracy in Pakistan

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3 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1044-1071
Number of pages28
JournalAsian Survey
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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