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  • 2. PRESSURE GROUPS• Why are Pressure Groups vital to a liberal democracy?
  • 3. PRESSURE GROUPS “organisations whose membersshare common interests and which seek to influence government” Garnett & Lynch
  • 4. PRESSURE GROUPS• Also known as: – Interest groups – Action groups – Lobby groups – Protest groups
  • 5. PRESSURE GROUPS• The difference between Political Parties and Pressure Groups Parties seek election Most Pressure Groups don’t seek election Political Parties seek to Pressure Groups seek to form government influence government Political Parties produce Pressure Groups manifestos on a wide campaign on a single range of issues issue or arena
  • 6. PRESSURE GROUPS• The term ‘Pressure Group’ is a catch-all: – Sectional – Cause/ promotional – Local – National – Transnational – Umbrella – Temporary – Permanent – ? Terrorist
  • 7. PRESSURE GROUPS• The problem with classifications: – Not accurate – Can apply many labels – People join for different reasons – For and against groups – Success = organisation, £, leadership and influence
  • 8. PRESSURE GROUPS• The most important definition of Pressure Groups: • Insider = • Outsider =
  • 9. PRESSURE GROUPS• Routes of influence for Pressure Groups:
  • 11. WHO LISTENS?• Government?• Parliament?• Political Parties?• Civil Service?• Local Government?• European Union?• Mass Media?• Other Pressure Groups?
  • 12. WHY DO GOVERNMENTS LISTEN?• Group may represent issue with widespread public support.• Group may represent the key voters of ‘Middle England’.• Group may represent issue close to interests of core support of government.• Group may provide access to body of specialist information -British Medical Association.• Group may be involved in implementation of government policy - farmers.• Government may listen as the result of effective (and expensive) paid lobbying.
  • 13. WHY DOES PARLIAMENT LISTEN?• Parliament is the sovereign law-making body.• Groups may have close links with MPs.• Group may have issue represented by Private Members’ Bill.• Some groups may gain access to Select Committee Hearings.• Well-organised groups may pay lobbyists to approach a group of MPs on their behalf.
  • 14. WHY DO PARTIES LISTEN?• Group may represent core party support.• Group may represent a cause that opposition parties can use to ‘damage’ government.• Group may be able to provide access to information that the Party can use to frame its response to events and its future policy planning.
  • 15. WHY DO CIVIL SERVANTS LISTEN?• Civil Servants are expected to consult as part of the normal democratic process.• Civil Servants remain generalists - Groups can provide specialist knowledge.• Groups may be able to provide useful feedback on the implementation process.
  • 16. WHY DOES LOCAL GOVERNMENT LISTEN?• Local government will be the obvious point of contact for local pressure groups.• Groups may be able to provide important advice on local issues and provision of local services.• Local Government finds itself responsible for areas of key pressure group activity - education, environment, transport.
  • 17. WHY DOES THE MASS MEDIA LISTEN?• Groups have become good at manipulating the media.• Some group issues have genuine ‘public interest’.• Some group aims will match the political agendas of newspaper owners.• News is now 24/7 - pressure groups can help to fill all that time and space.
  • 19. PRESSURE GROUPS• Why are Pressure Groups vital to a liberal democracy?
  • 20. PRESSURE GROUPS Corporatism
  • 21. CorporatismWhen major pressuregroups in a society workclosely with the governmentin the hope of achievingmutually beneficial goals,this is known ascorporatism.
  • 22. CorporatismCorporatism hadassociationswith fascism asit was used bythe Italiandictator BenitoMussolini
  • 23. Corporatism In the early 1960’s there was concern over economic decline. Harold Macmillan (Conservative) set up cooperation between the:• GOVERNMENT• T.U.C.• C.B.I. (known as ‘TRIPARTISM’)
  • 24. CorporatismIn 1961 the NATIONAL ECONOMICDEVELOPMENT COUNCIL(N.E.D.C.) was set up as a forumfor M.P’s, civil servants, employersand unions to meet on a regularbasis to consider ways to promoteeconomic growth.
  • 25. Corporatism In 1979, Margaret Thatcher abandoned corporatism: ‘We have rejected the TUC. We have rejected the CBI. We do not see them coming back again. We gave up the corporate state.’(Lord Young – Trade & Industry Minister)
  • 27. Key Concept• What is ‘pressure’? – Means other than force or law by which govts and people can influence each other politically.
  • 28. Classifications• I……………• O………….• S………….• C………….• U………….
  • 29. Insider Groups• Reasons why groups enjoy insider status: – Expertise – Implementation skills – Realistic/ reasonable aims – Abide by political rules – Representative of members
  • 30. Methods• Letter writing• Lobbying• Public meetings• Stunts• Violence• Blockades• Strikes
  • 31. How is PG success measured?• A group may have a single or multiple objectives• Objectives may vary over time according to the political agenda
  • 32. Success factors?• Wynn Grant’s – 3 key factors?
  • 33. Success factors?• Wynn Grant’s – 3 key factors• Domain organisation: – Size of membership – Middle class membership more likely to be successful-more educated – Articulate and organisational skills
  • 34. Success factors?• Wynn Grant’s – 3 key factors• Resources – Finance – Number of staff – Organisational structure
  • 35. Success factors?• Wynn Grant’s – 3 key factors• External environment – political environment – Position in society – public opinion – opposition
  • 36. Examples of successful or unsuccessful PGs• CBI –• BMA -• NUS -• Fathers 4 Justice -
  • 37. PGs & Democracy
  • 38. PLURALISM• Belief that society consists of different •Is competition healthy? groups representing •Do groups promote different interests. compromise? •Do groups have equal• Groups are in access to resources? competition with •Are groups good for each other as they the promotion of attempt to influence political participation? political decisions.• Sign of a healthy democracy?
  • 39. ELITE THEORY• Groups are not representative.• ‘Insider’ groups will always be more influential than ‘Outsider’ groups.• Groups are not equally wealthy.• Some interests depend on others to organise for them.• Not all groups are democratic.• ‘Political’ campaigns fought more effectively by business & middle- class interests.
  • 40. NEW RIGHT CRITIQUE• Groups get in the way of the market and obstruct government - they are dangerous for parliamentary democracy.• Government is elected - groups are not.• Groups distort work of free market.• Too many groups - too many demands on government.• Too many groups - slow economic growth.• Too many groups - confuse the policy making process.
  • 41. Assess the contribution PGs make to our democracy