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Interest GroupsChapter 7
What Are Interest Groups Interest Groups – An organized group of individuals sharing  common objectives who actively atte...
What Are Interest Groups Public vs. Private Interests   Private Interests     Examples: National Association of Manufac...
Why Are Interest GroupsImportant? A reason to be concerned: Deleterious effects on democracy   Interest Groups act as un...
What Do Interest Groups Do? Attempt to Influence Elections   Endorsements   Rate Candidates   Give money through Polit...
What Do Interest Groups Do? Lobby (attempt to influence policy)   Distributive lobbying (a.k.a. “pork”)     Iron triang...
Where Do Interest Groups ComeFrom? Why are there Interest Groups at all?   Collective action; the free-rider problem    ...
Where Do Interest Groups ComeFrom? Reasons for Interest Group Formation   Disturbance Theory     Interest groups form a...
Where Do Interest Groups ComeFrom? Reasons for Interest Group Formation   Selective Benefits    Solidary Incentives – r...
Interest Group Lobbying Lobbyist   An organization/individual who attempts to influence legislation    and the administr...
Interest Group Lobbying Interest group lobbying attempt to influence legislation  through:   Indirect Techniques – strat...
Problems With Interest Groups Bias and organizational politics   Do labor unions and their PACs really represent workers...
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Govt 2305-Ch_7

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Transcript of "Govt 2305-Ch_7"

  1. 1. Interest GroupsChapter 7
  2. 2. What Are Interest Groups Interest Groups – An organized group of individuals sharing common objectives who actively attempt to influence policymakers  Influence without governance  Influence without responsibility Interest groups are often spawned by social movements  A movement that represents the demands of a large segment of the public for political, economic, or social change
  3. 3. What Are Interest Groups Public vs. Private Interests  Private Interests  Examples: National Association of Manufacturers, Amateur Radio Relay League, American Farm Bureau Federation  Public Interests  Examples: American League to Abolish Capital Punishment, National Child Labor Committee
  4. 4. Why Are Interest GroupsImportant? A reason to be concerned: Deleterious effects on democracy  Interest Groups act as unelected elites  Interest Groups act as factions  Madison, Federalist #10 – “The latent cause of faction are thus sown into the nature of man”  “the regulation of these various and interfering interests [is] the principle task of modern legislation”
  5. 5. What Do Interest Groups Do? Attempt to Influence Elections  Endorsements  Rate Candidates  Give money through Political Action Committees  Attempt to bring people to the polls  (the Christian Coalition in the 1980s)
  6. 6. What Do Interest Groups Do? Lobby (attempt to influence policy)  Distributive lobbying (a.k.a. “pork”)  Iron triangles  Revolving-door hypothesis  Regulators with prior employment in the industry they are regulating (FCC)  Informational lobbying  Issue networks  Revolving-door hypothesis  Interest groups are best informed about policy
  7. 7. Where Do Interest Groups ComeFrom? Why are there Interest Groups at all?  Collective action; the free-rider problem  The difficulty interest groups face in recruiting members when the benefits they achieve can be gained without joining the group  Ex. AARP and senior citizens’ groups  Interest Groups can be crippling  Business and industry associations were long plagued by free-riding off of pro-business lobbying  Easy to think about lots of potential groups that do not exist at all because of this problem
  8. 8. Where Do Interest Groups ComeFrom? Reasons for Interest Group Formation  Disturbance Theory  Interest groups form and grow in response to perceived threats (NRA grew as a result of the Brady Bill)  Groups form in response to opposition groups (Handgun Control, Inc. vs. NRA)  Entrepreneurship; patrons and financiers  People who have money, time, and an agenda  “for the public interest”  Best interests of the overall community; the national good rather than the narrow interests of a particular group
  9. 9. Where Do Interest Groups ComeFrom? Reasons for Interest Group Formation  Selective Benefits  Solidary Incentives – reason/motive that flows from the desire to associate with others and to share with others a particular interest or hobby (ARRL)  Material Incentives – reason/motive based on the desire to enjoy certain economic benefits or opportunities (AARP)  Purposive Incentives – reason for supporting/participating in the activities of a group based on agreement with the goals of the group  Someone who really cares about environmental conservation might join the Sierra Club
  10. 10. Interest Group Lobbying Lobbyist  An organization/individual who attempts to influence legislation and the administrative decisions of the government Interest group lobbying attempt to influence legislation through:  Direct Techniques – interest group activity that involves interaction with government officials to further the group’s goals
  11. 11. Interest Group Lobbying Interest group lobbying attempt to influence legislation through:  Indirect Techniques – strategy employed by interest groups that uses third parties to influence government officials  Also use climate control to improve an industry’s public image  Use of public relations techniques to create favorable public opinions toward an interest group, industry, or corporation  Boycotting is another unconventional form of pressure typically used against those who oppose an interest group’s goals  Form of pressure or protest – an organized refusal to purchase a particular product or deal with a particular business  Could the American Revolutionaries be considered an interest group?
  12. 12. Problems With Interest Groups Bias and organizational politics  Do labor unions and their PACs really represent workers and the Labor Movement?  Economic and political expression of working-class interests; politically, the organization of working-class interests  Does the NRA really represent gun owners, or gun makers? Upper-class Bias  Those with more resources ($$) join interest groups  Business and professional groups more numerous and better financed  (American Medical Association, American Association for Justice)
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