Could it be that close kin ties produced by endogamy inhibit democracy? Some evidence points in that direction. From a network analysis perspective, I would add the suggestion that the association of democracy with individualism points to the importance of weak [out-group], as opposed to strong [in-group] ties. I note, too, that I once heard it asserted that parallel cousin marriage is common in Southwest Asia, a.k.a., the Middle East. Could kin ties be a factor in the difficulty of creating functioning democracies in this region?
The roast is on the spit. Let's turn up the heat.
With a tip of the hat to Anj Petto on Anthro-L, who passed this on.
FYI, here is the abstract from the Journal of Crosscultural Psychology
Consanguinity as a Major Predictor of Levels of Democracy: A Study of 70 Nations
Michael A. Woodley and Edward Bell
This article examines the hypothesis that although the level of democracy in a society is a complex
phenomenon involving many antecedents, consanguinity (marriage and subsequent mating
between second cousins or closer relatives) is an important though often overlooked predictor
of it. Measures of the two variables correlate substantially in a sample of 70 nations (r = –0.632,
p < 0.001), and consanguinity remains a significant predictor of democracy in multiple regression
and path analyses involving several additional independent variables. The data suggest that where
consanguineous kinship networks are numerically predominant and have been made to share a
common statehood, democracy is unlikely to develop. Possible explanations for these findings
include the idea that restricted gene flow arising from consanguineous marriage facilitates a
rigid collectivism that is inimical to individualism and the recognition of individual rights, which
are key elements of the democratic ethos. Furthermore, high levels of within-group genetic
similarity may discourage cooperation between different large-scale kin groupings sharing the
same nation, inhibiting democracy. Finally, genetic similarity stemming from consanguinity may
encourage resource predation by members of socially elite kinship networks as an inclusive fitness