Cronyism

Cronyism is the practice of partiality in awarding jobs and other advantages to friends or trusted colleagues, especially in politics and between politicians and supportive organizations.[1] For instance, this includes appointing "cronies" to positions of authority, regardless of their qualifications.[2]

Cronyism exists when the appointer and the beneficiary such as an appointee are in social or business contact. Often, the appointer needs support in his or her own proposal, job or position of authority, and for this reason the appointer appoints individuals who will not try to weaken his or her proposals, vote against issues, or express views contrary to those of the appointer.

Politically, "cronyism" is derogatorily used to imply buying and selling favors, such as: votes in legislative bodies, as doing favors to organizations, giving desirable ambassadorships to exotic places, etc.[3] Whereas cronyism refers to partiality to a partner or friend, nepotism is the granting of favour to relatives.[4]

Etymology

The word "crony" first appeared in 17th-century London, according to the Oxford English Dictionary and is believed to be derived from the Greek word chronios (χρόνιος), meaning "long term".[5]

A less likely but oft-quoted source is the supposed Irish term Comh-Roghna, which translates as "close pals", or mutual friends.[6]