Organized Panel Session
This paper analyzes the relevance of family ties for the recruitment of chief executives––presidents or prime ministers––with special emphasis on gender. Analyzing political chief executives from 2000-2017 in Asia, it finds that belonging to a political family (BPF), is an advantage to entering national executive positions in Asia for both democracies and non-democracies. Executives’ family ties are quite powerful (linked to former presidents and prime ministers) and direct (between close relations) in Asia. Women who manage to become chief executives are more often BPF than their male counterparts. Finally, family ties always first originate from men, not women. Women's continued reliance on family ties to obtain executive power suggests persistent obstacles women face in achieving positional empowerment in Asia.