Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kim Jong-un and other heirs apparent

Although there has been no official confirmation, all the indications are that Kim Jong-un, the youngest son, will take over from his father as leader of North Korea. But as these examples show, the transfer of power in family dynasties, or a child following in a parent's footsteps, can have mixed results.

The death of Kim Jong-il has set the stage for his son, Kim Jong-un, to take over the family business - the totalitarian leadership of North Korea. It's a job that Kim Jong-il himself inherited from his own father, the founder of the country in 1948.

But just calling Jong-un "the Great Successor" does not necessarily make it so. While family ties have their advantages, any business consultant will tell you that nepotism isn't always the best way to select the next in line.

After all, in recent memory there have been several examples which suggest that picking the right family member to uphold one's empire can be hard work. Read More