American powerpoint on elitism vrs pluralism

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American powerpoint on elitism vrs pluralism

  1. 1. Interest Groups Chapter 11
  2. 2. The Role and Reputation of Interest Groups <ul><li>Defining Interest Groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An organization of people with shared policy goals entering the policy process at several points to try to achieve those goals. Interest groups pursue their goals in many arenas. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political Parties fight election battles, Interest Groups don’t - but they may choose sides. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interest Groups are policy specialists, Political Parties are policy generalists. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Theories of Interest Group Politics <ul><li>Pluralist Theory </li></ul><ul><li>Elite Theory </li></ul><ul><li>Hyperpluralist Theory </li></ul>
  4. 4. Theories of Interest Group Politics - Pluralism <ul><li>Definition: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many centers of power and many diverse, competing groups. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No group wins or loses all the time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups provide the key link between the people and the government. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Theories of Interest Group Politics - Pluralism <ul><li>Continued </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups provide a key link between people and government. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups compete. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No one group is likely to become too dominant. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups usually play by the “rules of the game.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups weak in one resource can use another. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Theories of Interest Group Politics - Elitism <ul><li>Definition: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Societies are divided along class lines and an upper-class elite rules, regardless of the formal niceties of governmental organization. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Numerous groups mean nothing, power is not equally divided among them - some have much more. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The largest corporations hold the most power. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Theories of Interest Group Politics - Elitism <ul><li>Continued </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Elite power is strengthened by a system of interlocking directorates of these corporations and other institutions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate elites are willing to lose the minor policy battles, but work to win the major policy issues in their favor. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lobbying is a problem because it benefits the few at the expense of the many. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Theories of Interest Group[ Politics - Elitism <ul><li>Perceptions of the Dominance of Big Interests (Figure 11.1) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Theories of Interest Group Politics - Hyperpluralism <ul><li>Definition: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups are so strong that government is weakened. Extreme, exaggerated form of pluralism. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subgovernments consist of a network of groups that exercise a great deal of control over specific policy areas. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interest groups have become too powerful as the government tries to serve every interest. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Theories of Interest Group Politics - Hyperpluralism <ul><li>Continued </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The many subgovernments (iron triangles) aggravate the process. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When the government tries to please all the groups, the policies become confusing and contradictory. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With more interest groups getting involved, these subgovernments may be dissolving. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. What Makes an Interest Group Successful?
  12. 12. What Makes an Interest Group Successful? <ul><li>The Surprising Ineffectiveness of Large Groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential group: All the people who might be interest group members because they share a common interest. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actual group: The part of the potential group consisting of members who actually join. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collective good: Something of value that cannot be withheld from a group member </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. What Makes an Interest Group Successful? <ul><ul><li>Free-Rider problem: Some people don’t join interest groups because they benefit from the group’s activities without officially joining. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The bigger the group, the larger the free-rider problem. (Olson’s law of large groups) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large groups are difficult to keep organized. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. What Makes an Interest Group Successful? <ul><ul><li>Small groups are better organized and more focused on the group’s goals. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consumer groups have a difficult time getting significant policy gains - the benefits are spread over the entire population. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups that can provide selective benefits can overcome this problem. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. What Makes an Interest Group Successful? <ul><li>The Benefits of Membership in the AARP (Figure 11.2) </li></ul>
  16. 16. What Makes an Interest Group Successful? <ul><li>Intensity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Single-Issue groups: Groups that focus on a narrow interest and dislike compromise. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups may focus on an emotional issue, providing them with a psychological advantage. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May be more likely to use protests and other means of political participation than traditional interest groups that use lobbyists. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. What Makes an Interest Group Successful? <ul><li>Financial Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not all groups have equal amounts of money. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monetary donations usually translate into access to the politicians - a phone call, a meeting, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is a bias towards the wealthier groups. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The wealthier groups don’t always win in the policy arena. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. The Interest Group Explosion
  19. 19. How Groups Try to Shape Policy <ul><li>Lobbying </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ communication by someone other than a citizen acting on his own behalf, directed to a governmental decisionmaker with the hope of influencing his decision.” (Lester Milbrath) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two basic types: Those that are employed by a group, and those that are hired temporarily. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. How Groups Try to Shape Policy <ul><ul><li>Lobbyists are a source of information. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lobbyists can help politicians plan political strategies for legislation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lobbyists can help politicians plan political strategies for reelection campaigns. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lobbyists can provide ideas and innovations that can be turned into policies that the politician can take credit for. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. How Groups Try to Shape Policy <ul><li>Electioneering </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct group involvement in the election process. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political Action Committee (PAC): Used by interest groups to donate money to candidates. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PACs help pay the bill for increasing campaign costs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most PAC money goes to incumbents. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. How Groups Try to Shape Policy <ul><li>Litigation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If an interest group fails in one arena, the courts may be able to provide a remedy. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interest groups can file amicus curiae briefs in court cases to support their position. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Class Action lawsuits permit small groups of people to try and correct a situation on behalf of a much larger group. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. How Groups Try to Shape Policy <ul><li>Going Public </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups try and cultivate a good public image. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups use marketing strategies to influence public opinion of the group and its issues. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups will purchase advertising to motivate the public about an issue. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Types of Interest Groups <ul><li>Economic Interests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Labor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agriculture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Environmental Interests </li></ul><ul><li>Equality Interests </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer and Public Interest Lobbies </li></ul>
  25. 25. Understanding Interest Groups <ul><li>Interest Groups and Democracy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>James Madison’s solution to the problems posed by interest groups was to create a wide-open system in which groups compete. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elite theorists point to the proliferation of business PACs as evidence of interest group corruption. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hyperpluralists maintain that group influence has led to policy gridlock. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Understanding Interest Groups <ul><li>Interest Groups and the Scope of Government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interest groups seek to maintain policies and programs that benefit them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interest groups continue to pressure government to do more things. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But as the government does more things, does that cause the formation of more groups? </li></ul></ul>

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