I joined TRT World’s Roundtable this week with three other analysts to talk about political dynasties and “keeping it in the family”.

Vasundhara Sirnate of the University of California points to the power of dynasty in India. Kurt Barling of Middlesex University and historian Justin Wintle talks about dynasties from China to Africa in historical context.

But dynasties in the US? It’s not so simple for the all the headlines about Kennedys, Bushes, and Clintons. Noting that the supposed hereditary passage of rule is marked as much by failure as by success — Ted Kennedy? Jeb Bush? Hillary Clinton? — I also talk about an American system in which many have risen from far-from-wealthy backgrounds: Barack Obama is a recent case, and so ironically is Bill Clinton.

Beyond the personalities, money and networks matter — a lot. But, working from Kurt Barling’s point about the importance of institutions, I talk about a system which can be far more fluid than is often portrayed.

After all, the biggest threat in the US system today is not coming from a member of a dynasty….

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