PRESSURE GROUPS
WHAT ARE THEY?
WHO DO THE REPRESENT?
ARE THERE DIFFERENCES?,
ARE THEY PLURALIST OR ELITIST?
WHAT METHODS D...
WHAT IS A PRESSURE GROUP ?
• “AN ORGANISATION WHICH SEEKS TO INFLUENCE DECISION-MAKERS IN RELATION TO A
PARTICULAR ISSUE, ...
INSIDER AND OUTSIDER
• AN INSIDER PRESSURE GROUP HAS
CLOSE AND REGULAR CONTACT WITH
DECISION-MAKERS, AND GOVERNMENT
MINIST...
WHAT DETERMINES THE STATUS OF AN INSIDER
PRESSURE GROUP?
• WHICH OF THE TWO MAIN POLITICAL PARTIES IS IN GOVERNMENT CAN HA...
PROMOTIONAL AND SECTIONAL
• A PROMOTIONAL (OR CAUSE)
PRESSURE GROUP REPRESENTS, OR
PROMOTES, A SPECIFIC CAUSE
• EXAMPLES O...
AD HOC AND PERMANENT
• MOST PROMOTIONAL (OR CAUSE) PRESSURE GROUPS ARE FORMED
ON A TEMPORARY BASIS, AND DISBAND ONCE THEIR...
PLURALISM, ELITISM AND PRESSURE
GROUPS
WHAT IS PLURALISM?
• PLURALISM IS BOTH A CONCEPT AND A DESCRIPTION OF EITHER A SOCIETY OR
A POLITICAL SYSTEM:• IT MEANS AN...
WHAT IS ELITISM?
• IT IS A DESCRIPTION OF A SOCIETY OR A POLITICAL SYSTEM WHICH SUGGESTS
THAT ALL POWER – POLITICAL. SOCIA...
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PLURALISM
AND PRESSURE GROUPS?
• PRESSURE GROUPS CAN ENHANCE PLURALISM BY:-

• THE DISPER...
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ELITISM
AND PRESSURE GROUPS?
• PRESSURE GROUPS CAN BE ASSOCIATED WITH ELITISM BY:-

• POW...
METHODS USED BY PRESSURE
GROUPS
WHAT METHODS ARE USED BY PRESSURE
GROUPS?
• LOBBYING LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PARLIAMENT
• PRESSURE ON YOU LOCAL MP

• LOBBYIN...
WHAT METHODS ARE USED BY PRESSURE
GROUPS?
• ALL PRESSURE GROUPS AIM TO MOBILISE PUBLIC SUPPORT, AND ONE WAY TO
ACHIEVE THI...
WHAT METHODS ARE USED BY PRESSURE
GROUPS?
• AN INSIDER PRESSURE GROUP CAN DIRECTLY CONTACT
GOVERNMENT MINISTERS –WHICH IS ...
WHAT DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF A
PRESSURE GROUP?
WHAT DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF A
PRESSURE GROUP?
• MONEY

• VIOLENCE – USE OF

• PUBLIC SUPPORT

• UNITY

• POLITICAL SUPP...
WHAT DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF A
PRESSURE GROUP? (1)
• PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IS MONEY, WHICH CAN
BE USED IN SE...
WHAT DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF A
PRESSURE GROUP? (2)
• SUPPORT FROM TOP-RANKING POLITICIANS CAN OFTEN HELP A PG. FOR
EXAMP...
WHAT DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF A
PRESSURE GROUP? (3)
• THE ENDORSEMENT AND INVOLVEMENT OF CELEBRITIES CAN
ALSO BE A FACTOR...
WHAT DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF A
PRESSURE GROUP? (4)
• THE EXTENT TO WHICH THEIR EXPERTISE IS REQUIRED BY THE
GOVERNMENT. ...
WHAT DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF A
PRESSURE GROUP? (5)
• EVENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES CAN ALSO ENHANCE THE
SALIENCE OF CERTAIN P...
Factor

Pressure group

Evidence of success

Resources- financial and
organisational the ability to mount
a major campaign...
ARE PRESSURE GROUPS IMPORTANT?
• AS THE ROLE OF PRESSURE GROUPS GROWS AND INFLUENCE BECOMES
MORE WIDESPREAD AND SIGNIFICAN...
PRESSURE GROUPS ARE BECOMING MORE
IMPORTANT BECAUSE
• WITH THE DECLINE IN MEMBERSHIP AND PUBLIC IDENTIFICATION WITH
POLITI...
PRESSURE GROUPS AND DEMOCRACY?
DO PRESSURE GROUPS ENHANCE DEMOCRACY?
• YES

• NO
DO PRESSURE GROUPS ENHANCE DEMOCRACY?
YES
• PGS REPRESENT VARIOUS DEMANDS AND INTERESTS (E.G. PRO AND ANTI-FOX
HUNTING), A...
DO PRESSURE GROUPS ENHANCE
DEMOCRACY?
NO
• OUTSIDER GROUPS USUALLY TAKE DIRECT ACTION, WHICH CAN BE ILLEGAL
AND UNDEMOCRAT...
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  1. 1. PRESSURE GROUPS WHAT ARE THEY? WHO DO THE REPRESENT? ARE THERE DIFFERENCES?, ARE THEY PLURALIST OR ELITIST? WHAT METHODS DO THEY USE? WHY ARE SOME MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN OTHERS? ARE THEY IMPORTANT? ARE THEY GOOD FOR DEMOCRACY?
  2. 2. WHAT IS A PRESSURE GROUP ? • “AN ORGANISATION WHICH SEEKS TO INFLUENCE DECISION-MAKERS IN RELATION TO A PARTICULAR ISSUE, OR POLICY. UNLIKE POLITICAL PARTIES, PRESSURE GROUPS DO NOT STAND FOR ELECTED OFFICE” • MINOR PARTIES SUCH AS THE UKIP BLUR THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN A POLITICAL PARTY, AND A PRESSURE GROUP. ANOTHER EXAMPLE IS THE GREEN PARTY, WHICH BEGAN LIFE AS A PRESSURE GROUP • OVER HALF OF THE 61 „NEW‟ PARTIES THAT REGISTERED WITH THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION IN 2004 WERE, IN ALL BUT NAME, SINGLE-ISSUE PRESSURE GROUPS (E.G. RESPECT) • IN SOME CASES, A PRESSURE GROUP MAY ALSO BE CLOSELY RELATED TO APOLITICAL PARTY (E.G. THE TERRORIST GROUP THE IRA HAS CLOSE LINKS TO SINN FEIN) • THERE ARE VARIOUS CATEGORIES OF PGS, SUCH AS; • INSIDER / OUTSIDER • PROMOTIONAL / SECTIONAL – NEW SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
  3. 3. INSIDER AND OUTSIDER • AN INSIDER PRESSURE GROUP HAS CLOSE AND REGULAR CONTACT WITH DECISION-MAKERS, AND GOVERNMENT MINISTERS • AN OUTSIDER PRESSURE GROUP HAS LITTLE OR NO CONTACT WITH DECISIONMAKERS. THIS IS OFTEN DUE TO IDEOLOGICAL DISAGREEMENT WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY • AN EXAMPLE OF AN INSIDER PRESSURE GROUP IS THE NATIONAL FARMERS UNION, WHO HAVE ALWAYS HAD A CLOSE WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE • FOR EXAMPLE, THE ANIMAL LIBERATION FRONT ARE CONSIDERED SO EXTREME THAT NO MAINSTREAM POLITICAL PARTY WOULD BRING THEM INTO THE POLITICAL PROCESS • AN INSIDER GROUP IS ALSO LIKELY TO LOBBY MPS. SOME TRADE UNIONS EVEN „SPONSOR‟ LABOUR MPS • ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF AN OUTSIDER PRESSURE GROUP IS THE ANTIGLOBALISATION MOVEMENT • OUTSIDER GROUPS TEND TO TAKE DIRECT ACTION, WHICH CAN AT TIMES BE ILLEGAL
  4. 4. WHAT DETERMINES THE STATUS OF AN INSIDER PRESSURE GROUP? • WHICH OF THE TWO MAIN POLITICAL PARTIES IS IN GOVERNMENT CAN HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT UPON THE STATUS OF A PRESSURE GROUP • FOR EXAMPLE, CHARTER 88 BECAME AN INSIDER GROUP UNDER LABOUR. UNDER THE TORIES (1979 –1997), THEY WERE VERY MUCH AN OUTSIDER PRESSURE GROUP • THE COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE WAS AN OUTSIDER GROUP. HOWEVER, SINCE THE CONSERVATIVES CAME TO POWER IN 2010, THE COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE BECAME AN INSIDER PRESSURE GROUP • ANOTHER FACTOR TO CONSIDER IS THE LEVEL OF EXPERTISE OFFERED BY A PARTICULAR PRESSURE GROUP, WHICH CAN AWARD THEM „INSIDER‟ STATUS (E.G. THE BRITISH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION) • SOME EXTREMIST PRESSURE GROUPS HAVE LITTLE OR NO OPPORTUNITY TO GAIN
  5. 5. PROMOTIONAL AND SECTIONAL • A PROMOTIONAL (OR CAUSE) PRESSURE GROUP REPRESENTS, OR PROMOTES, A SPECIFIC CAUSE • EXAMPLES OF PROMOTIONAL (OR CAUSE) PRESSURE GROUPS INCLUDE FRIENDS OF THE EARTH, AND THE WORLD WILDLIFE FUND • PROMOTIONAL PRESSURE GROUPS ARE EITHER CONCERNED WITH A SINGLE-ISSUE, OR HAVE A BROADER LONG-TERM OBJECTIVE. THE LATTER CATEGORY INCLUDES THINK-TANKS SUCH AS THE INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY RESEARCH, AND THE FABIAN SOCIETY • THE AIM OF A SECTION PRESSURE GROUP IS TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF ITS MEMBERS. AS SUCH, THEY ARE SOMETIMES DESCRIBED AS INTEREST GROUPS • A SECTIONAL PRESSURE GROUP USUALLY CONSISTS OF MEMBERS OF A PARTICULAR OCCUPATION, OR ORGANISATION • THE CONFEDERATION OF BRITISH INDUSTRY, AND THE TRADE UNIONS, ARE BOTH SECTIONAL (OR INTEREST) GROUPS
  6. 6. AD HOC AND PERMANENT • MOST PROMOTIONAL (OR CAUSE) PRESSURE GROUPS ARE FORMED ON A TEMPORARY BASIS, AND DISBAND ONCE THEIR CAUSE HAS DISAPPEARED. FOR EXAMPLE, A PRESSURE GROUP MIGHT BE SET UP IN ORDER TO PREVENT THE LOCAL COUNCIL BUILDING A BY-PASS THROUGH A PARTICULAR AREA • TEMPORARY (OR AD-HOC) PRESSURE GROUPS ARE USUALLY BASED ON A „NIMBY‟ MINDSET („NOT IN MY BACK-YARD‟) • PRESSURE GROUPS OFTEN EXPERIENCE DIVISION AMONGST THEIR MEMBERS, AND CAN THEREFORE END UP AS MERELY TEMPORARY GROUPS (E.G. FATHERS 4 JUSTICE, WHICH WAS DISBANDED IN 2006) • THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PRESSURE GROUPS TEND TO BE PERMANENT • MOST OF THE PRESSURE GROUPS YOU WILL HAVE HEARD OF ARE PERMANENT • EXAMPLES OF PERMANENT PRESSURE GROUPS INCLUDE THE
  7. 7. PLURALISM, ELITISM AND PRESSURE GROUPS
  8. 8. WHAT IS PLURALISM? • PLURALISM IS BOTH A CONCEPT AND A DESCRIPTION OF EITHER A SOCIETY OR A POLITICAL SYSTEM:• IT MEANS ANY SITUATION WHERE A VARIETY OF IDEAS AND GROUPS CAN FLOURISH • IT CAN MEAN THAT POWER WITHIN A POLITICAL SYSTEM IS WIDELY DISPERSED AND NOT HELD IN THE HANDS OF A FEW • IT MEANS THAT IN SOCIETY THAT A VARIETY OF BELIEFS, LIFESTYLES AND CULTURES CO EXIST AND ARE TOLERATED • A PLURALIST DEMOCRACY RECOGNISES THE RIGHT OF DIFFERENT GROUPS TO HAVE INFLUENCE AND RECEIVE EQUAL TREATMENT
  9. 9. WHAT IS ELITISM? • IT IS A DESCRIPTION OF A SOCIETY OR A POLITICAL SYSTEM WHICH SUGGESTS THAT ALL POWER – POLITICAL. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC RESTS IN THE HANDS OF A FEW – THE ELITE. IT IS THE OPPOSITE OF PLURALISM • A SMALL NUMBER OF PEOPLE CONTROL THE POLITICAL SYSTEM, HOLDING ALL OR MOST OF THE POWER • IT THEREFORE IMPLIES THAT THE MAJORITY OF GROUPS IN SOCIETY ARE DENIED POWER.
  10. 10. WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PLURALISM AND PRESSURE GROUPS? • PRESSURE GROUPS CAN ENHANCE PLURALISM BY:- • THE DISPERSAL OF POWER AND INFLUENCE – ESPECIALLY THROUGH MASS MEMBERSHIP GROUPS • MANY GROUPS HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXERT POLITICAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC INFLUENCE • PROTECTION OF SECTIONAL INTERESTS IN SOCIETY • THEY CAN OFFSET THE POWER OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT – A BALANCE OF POWER
  11. 11. WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ELITISM AND PRESSURE GROUPS? • PRESSURE GROUPS CAN BE ASSOCIATED WITH ELITISM BY:- • POWERFUL AND WEALTHY GROUPS CAN CONCENTRATE POWER IN THE HANDS OF A FEW • INFLUENTIAL INSIDER GROUPS CAN HELP TO CONCENTRATE POWER IN GOVERNMENT HANDS • SOME COULD BE LED BY UNACCOUNTABLE ELITES • SOME COULD HOLD A DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF POWER – AND THEREFORE POLITICAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC INFLUENCE
  12. 12. METHODS USED BY PRESSURE GROUPS
  13. 13. WHAT METHODS ARE USED BY PRESSURE GROUPS? • LOBBYING LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PARLIAMENT • PRESSURE ON YOU LOCAL MP • LOBBYING THE EUROPEAN UNION • PETITIONS • DIRECT ACTION – BOTH LEGAL AND ILLEGAL E.G. PUBLIC DEMONSTRATIONS, CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE • LEGAL ACTION • SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS • MASS MEDIA CAMPAIGNS
  14. 14. WHAT METHODS ARE USED BY PRESSURE GROUPS? • ALL PRESSURE GROUPS AIM TO MOBILISE PUBLIC SUPPORT, AND ONE WAY TO ACHIEVE THIS IS VIA A DEMONSTRATION (E.G. IN 2003, 2 MILLION PEOPLE MARCHED AGAINST BRITISH INVOLVEMENT IN THE IRAQ WAR) • PRESSURE GROUPS ALSO AIM TO CAPTURE THE PUBLIC MOOD. FOR EXAMPLE IN 2005, MANY PEOPLE WORE WHITE WRISTBANDS TO DISPLAY THEIR SUPPORT FOR THE MAKE POVERTY HISTORY CAMPAIGN • PRESSURE GROUPS ALSO SEEK THE ENDORSEMENT AND INVOLVEMENT OF CELEBRITIES IN ORDER TO RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS (E.G. CHRIS MARTIN OF COLDPLAY HAS RAISED AWARENESS OF THE MAKE TRADE FAIR CAMPAIGN)
  15. 15. WHAT METHODS ARE USED BY PRESSURE GROUPS? • AN INSIDER PRESSURE GROUP CAN DIRECTLY CONTACT GOVERNMENT MINISTERS –WHICH IS BY FAR THE MOST EFFECTIVE METHOD AVAILABLE • AN OUTSIDER PRESSURE GROUP IS MORE LIKELY TO RESORT TO PROTEST. SOME OUTSIDER GROUPS MIGHT EVEN USE VIOLENCE, AND TERRORISM • WHEN AN OUTSIDER PRESSURE GROUP COMBINES TERRORISM WITH MAINSTREAM POLITICS, THEY CAN OFTEN SUCCEED IN ACHIEVING THEIR GOALS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE IRA AND SINN FEIN HAVE PURSUED THE “ARMALITE AND BALLOT BOX STRATEGY” WITH SOME DEGREE OF SUCCESS
  16. 16. WHAT DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF A PRESSURE GROUP?
  17. 17. WHAT DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF A PRESSURE GROUP? • MONEY • VIOLENCE – USE OF • PUBLIC SUPPORT • UNITY • POLITICAL SUPPORT – LOCAL, NATIONAL , INTERNATIONAL • EXPERTISE, LEADERSHIP, CONNECTI ONS • ECONOMIC SUPPORT – BIG BUSINESS • CURRENT EVENTS • CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT • MEDIA COVERAGE • MEMBERSHIP • USE OF THE LEGAL SYSTEM
  18. 18. WHAT DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF A PRESSURE GROUP? (1) • PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IS MONEY, WHICH CAN BE USED IN SEVERAL WAYS (E.G. DONATING MONEY TO A POLITICAL PARTY IN ORDER TO GAIN PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT) • THE LEVEL OF PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR THEIR ACTIONS (E.G. THE FUEL TAX PROTESTORS IN THE YEAR 2000 MANAGED TO FORCE THE CHANCELLOR TO LOWER THE LEVEL OF PETROL DUTY), AND THE LEVEL OF PUBLIC AWARENESS GENERATED BY THEIR CAUSE. FOR EXAMPLE, THE SNOWDROP CAMPAIGN GAINED WIDESPREAD PUBLIC SYMPATHY AFTER THE MASSACRE AT DUNBLANE
  19. 19. WHAT DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF A PRESSURE GROUP? (2) • SUPPORT FROM TOP-RANKING POLITICIANS CAN OFTEN HELP A PG. FOR EXAMPLE, GORDON BROWN‟S DECISION TO WRITE OFF SOME OF THE DEBT DUE FROM LESS-DEVELOPED COUNTRIES WAS PARTLY INFLUENCED BY THE ‘DROP THE DEBT’ CAMPAIGN • THE RECEPTIVENESS OF ORGANISATIONS TO HEAR THEIR CASE. FOR EXAMPLE, THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION HAS ALWAYS WELCOMED THE INVOLVEMENT OF PRESSURE GROUPS • THE RECEPTIVENESS OF DECISION-MAKERS, AND GOVERNMENT MINISTERS, TO A PARTICULAR GROUP. FOR EXAMPLE, LABOUR ARE MORE RECEPTIVE TO TRADE UNIONS, WHEREAS TORY GOVERNMENTS ARE MORE WILLING TO LISTEN TO PGS REPRESENTING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY
  20. 20. WHAT DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF A PRESSURE GROUP? (3) • THE ENDORSEMENT AND INVOLVEMENT OF CELEBRITIES CAN ALSO BE A FACTOR (E.G. BOB GELDOF‟S SUPPORT FOR THE MAKE POVERTY HISTORY CAMPAIGN) • THE ABILITY OF A PG TO GAIN MEDIA ATTENTION (E.G. FATHERS 4 JUSTICE DRESSED UP AS SUPERHEROES TO HIGHLIGHT THEIR CAUSE) • SOME OUTSIDER GROUPS USE VIOLENCE AND TERRORISM IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THEIR AIMS, WHICH CAN HAVE AN EFFECT UPON PUBLIC POLICY. EVEN THE THREAT OF DIRECT ACTION CAN HAVE AN IMPACT UPON DECISION-MAKERS
  21. 21. WHAT DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF A PRESSURE GROUP? (4) • THE EXTENT TO WHICH THEIR EXPERTISE IS REQUIRED BY THE GOVERNMENT. ONE OF THE REASON WHY SOME PRESSURE GROUPS GAIN INSIDER STATUS IS THAT THEY CAN PROVIDE EXPERT ADVICE TO MINISTERS, WHICH IN TURN HELPS THE GOVERNMENT TO DRAFT LEGISLATION • THE EXTENT TO WHICH A PRESSURE GROUP IS UNITED, AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH A GROUP CAN CLAIM TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF ITS PROFESSION. FOR EXAMPLE, THE BMA CAN CLAIM TO REPRESENT THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF GPS
  22. 22. WHAT DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF A PRESSURE GROUP? (5) • EVENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES CAN ALSO ENHANCE THE SALIENCE OF CERTAIN PGS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE ISSUE OF CLIMATE CHANGE HAS GIVEN ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS MUCH MORE INFLUENCE WITH DECISION-MAKERS • THE NUMBER OF MEMBERS A PG HAS CAN ALSO BE A FACTOR • A PRESSURE GROUP CAN SPONSOR A „TEST CASE‟ IN COURT. IF SUCCESSFUL, THE RULING WILL OFTEN HELP TO FURTHER THEIR AIMS AND OBJECTIVES • THE SKILL OF THOSE LOBBYISTS WORKING FOR A PRESSURE GROUP • QUALITY OF ITS ORGANISATION AND LEADERSHIP
  23. 23. Factor Pressure group Evidence of success Resources- financial and organisational the ability to mount a major campaign Countryside Alliance Anti-Fox hunting legislation was watered down in 2004 – still a force today Insider Status – well trusted and established in government circles Action on Smoking and Health The introduction of anti smoking laws under successive governments Tactics- a good formula for influencing government or mobilising support Save England's Forests used a variety of tactics, e petitions, celebrity backing, mass demonstrations Government cancelled plans to sell off publically owned forests in 2010 A shared agenda with Government The Confederation of British Industry Welcomed the 2010 election result Government agreed to reduced corporation tax by 14% over 4 years Lack of opposition Make Poverty History campaign of 1990‟s and 2000‟s Governments agreed to cancel debts and increase aid Celebrity involvement Justice for Ghurkha's – led by Joanna Lumley 2009 Government was forced to reverse its policies that denied former Ghurkha's the right to stay in the UK Strategic position British Bankers Association – campaigned against banking Plans to control and restrict excessive bonuses and pay were
  24. 24. ARE PRESSURE GROUPS IMPORTANT? • AS THE ROLE OF PRESSURE GROUPS GROWS AND INFLUENCE BECOMES MORE WIDESPREAD AND SIGNIFICANT IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND SOME OF THE REASONS WHY THIS IS HAPPENING
  25. 25. PRESSURE GROUPS ARE BECOMING MORE IMPORTANT BECAUSE • WITH THE DECLINE IN MEMBERSHIP AND PUBLIC IDENTIFICATION WITH POLITICAL PARTIES, PRESSURE GROUPS ARE STARTING TO FILL THE GAP. • A BETTER INFORMED ELECTORATE BECOMES INVOLVED IN ISSUES RATHER THAN POLICIES • SOCIAL MEDIA AND INTERNET GROWTH MAKE COMMUNICATION EASIER AND CAMPAIGNS GROW QUICKLY – LIMITED TECHNICAL SKILLS ARE NEEDED • SOCIETY HAS BECOME MORE PLURALISTIC – WITH A RAPID GROWTH IN SECTIONAL SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS • POLITICIANS HAVE BEEN FORCED TO BECOME MORE SENSITIVE TO PUBLIC OPINION
  26. 26. PRESSURE GROUPS AND DEMOCRACY?
  27. 27. DO PRESSURE GROUPS ENHANCE DEMOCRACY? • YES • NO
  28. 28. DO PRESSURE GROUPS ENHANCE DEMOCRACY? YES • PGS REPRESENT VARIOUS DEMANDS AND INTERESTS (E.G. PRO AND ANTI-FOX HUNTING), AND ARE THEREFORE A VITAL ELEMENT OF A PLURALIST SOCIETY. THIS ALSO ENSURES THAT BOTH SIDES OF AN ARGUMENT ARE HEARD • PGS ENCOURAGE AND ENABLE THE PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS • PGS CAN ALSO EDUCATE AND INFORM THE ELECTORATE, AND THUS ENHANCE POLITICAL EDUCATION • PGS CAN HELP TO ACHIEVE CHANGE WITHIN SOCIETY THAT STRENGTHENS DEMOCRACY, SUCH AS THE CIVIL RIGHTS CAMPAIGN IN THE UNITED STATES DURING THE 1960S • DECISION-MAKERS ARE MADE AWARE OF HOW THE PUBLIC FEEL ABOUT CERTAIN ISSUES • TRADE UNIONS HELP TO COUNTERBALANCE THE CONSIDERABLE POWER OF EMPLOYERS, AND IN DOING SO, ENSURE THAT WORKERS ARE TREATED FAIRLY
  29. 29. DO PRESSURE GROUPS ENHANCE DEMOCRACY? NO • OUTSIDER GROUPS USUALLY TAKE DIRECT ACTION, WHICH CAN BE ILLEGAL AND UNDEMOCRATIC (E.G. IN THE UNITED STATES, PRO-LIFE CAMPAIGNERS HAVE SENT LETTER BOMBS TO ABORTION CLINICS) • PGS ARE NOT ELECTED (AND ARE THEREFORE UNACCOUNTABLE) TO THE PUBLIC. SOME PGS DO NOT EVEN ELECT THEIR OWN LEADERS • INSIDER PGS CAN HOLD TOO MUCH INFLUENCE OVER GOVERNMENT MINISTERS, WHICH CAN BE DETRIMENTAL TO THOSE WHO WISH TO REDUCE THE ROLE OF THE STATE. THIS ARGUMENT IS CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH THE NEW RIGHT • THE MOST POWERFUL PGS TEND TO REPRESENT THE INTERESTS OF BIG BUSINESS • WHILST MOST DEMONSTRATIONS ARE PEACEFUL, SOME DEMONSTRATIONS CAN TURN VIOLENT (E.G. THE POLL TAX RIOTS IN 1990) • SOME PGS COULD BE ACCUSED OF HOLDING THE COUNTRY TO RANSOM (E.G.

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