Dynastic politics, usually presumed to be the antithesis of democracy, is a routine aspect of politics in many modern democracies. This book introduces a new theoretical perspective on dynasticism in democracies, using original data on twenty-first-century Indian parliaments. It argues that the roots of dynastic politics lie at least in part in modern democratic institutions - states and parties - which give political families a leg-up in the electoral process. It also proposes a rethinking of the view that dynastic politics is a violation of democracy, showing that it can also reinforce some aspects of democracy while violating others. Finally, this book suggests that both reinforcement and violation are the products, not of some property intrinsic to political dynasties, but of the institutional environment from which those dynasties emerge.