April 7, 2011
Three Branches of Government in the United States <ul><li>Executive </li></ul><ul><li>Legislative </li></ul><ul><li>Judici...
Films about Presidents <ul><li>Abraham Lincoln  (1930) </li></ul><ul><li>Young Mr. Lincoln  (1939) </li></ul><ul><li>Wilso...
Fictional Presidents <ul><li>Being There  (1979) – Chauncey Gardner </li></ul><ul><li>Independence Day  (1996) – Thomas Wh...
Films about Congress <ul><li>Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) </li></ul><ul><li>Advise and Consent (1962) </li></ul><ul...
Films about the Supreme Court <ul><li>Amistad (1997) </li></ul><ul><li>The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996) </li></ul><ul><li...
Films about Law and Lawyers <ul><li>Runaway Jury </li></ul><ul><li>The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean </li></ul><ul><li>...
Interest groups <ul><li>Interest groups are part of civil society and try to influence public policy </li></ul><ul><li>The...
Interest group strategies <ul><li>Groups can modify or protect the status quo </li></ul><ul><ul><li>directly, by prevailin...
Examples of Large Interest Groups <ul><li>National Rifle Association (NRA) </li></ul><ul><li>American Association of Retir...
Types of interest groups* <ul><li>Economic sector: e.g.  NAM ;  AFL-CIO ; </li></ul><ul><li>Social sector: e.g.  AARP ;  N...
Interest group tactics <ul><li>Nearly all groups testify at hearings, lobby government officials, make informal contacts w...
Interest group success <ul><li>How do we measure interest group success? </li></ul><ul><li>Passed legislation; </li></ul><...
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Polf17

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Y200 Politics and Film, Lecture #17
April 7, 2011

Published in: Education, News & Politics
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Polf17

  1. 1. April 7, 2011
  2. 2. Three Branches of Government in the United States <ul><li>Executive </li></ul><ul><li>Legislative </li></ul><ul><li>Judiciary </li></ul>Basic idea in the Constitution: The separation of powers
  3. 3. Films about Presidents <ul><li>Abraham Lincoln (1930) </li></ul><ul><li>Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) </li></ul><ul><li>Wilson (1944) </li></ul><ul><li>Sunrise at Campobello (1960) </li></ul><ul><li>JFK (1991) </li></ul><ul><li>Truman (1995) </li></ul><ul><li>Nixon (1995) </li></ul><ul><li>W (2008) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Fictional Presidents <ul><li>Being There (1979) – Chauncey Gardner </li></ul><ul><li>Independence Day (1996) – Thomas Whitmore </li></ul><ul><li>Dave (1993) – Bill Mitchell </li></ul><ul><li>The American President (1995) – Andrew Shepherd </li></ul><ul><li>Murder at 1600 (1997) – Jack Neil </li></ul><ul><li>Air Force One (1997) – James Marshall </li></ul><ul><li>Wag the Dog (1997) – unnamed </li></ul><ul><li>Primary Colors (1998) – Jack Stanton </li></ul>
  5. 5. Films about Congress <ul><li>Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) </li></ul><ul><li>Advise and Consent (1962) </li></ul><ul><li>Tail Gunner Joe (1997) </li></ul><ul><li>Legally Blonde 2 (2003) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Films about the Supreme Court <ul><li>Amistad (1997) </li></ul><ul><li>The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996) </li></ul><ul><li>The Pelican Brief (1993) </li></ul><ul><li>First Monday in October (1981) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Films about Law and Lawyers <ul><li>Runaway Jury </li></ul><ul><li>The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean </li></ul><ul><li>To Kill a Mockingbird </li></ul><ul><li>Inherit the Wind </li></ul><ul><li>A Few Good Men </li></ul><ul><li>A Time to Kill </li></ul><ul><li>The Firm </li></ul><ul><li>The Pelican Brief </li></ul>
  8. 8. Interest groups <ul><li>Interest groups are part of civil society and try to influence public policy </li></ul><ul><li>They achieve influence primarily through the collection and transmission of strategic information to the three branches of government (sometimes called lobbying) </li></ul><ul><li>They may directly provide campaign funds to presidents and legislators who want to get elected to re-elected </li></ul><ul><li>They may decide to take disputes over executive decision or legislation to the judiciary </li></ul>
  9. 9. Interest group strategies <ul><li>Groups can modify or protect the status quo </li></ul><ul><ul><li>directly, by prevailing at the ballot box </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>indirectly, by pressuring other actors to modify or preserve a certain policy for them </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To be influential, pressure groups must have access to the key players involved in the decision-making process </li></ul><ul><li>Access depends on whether policy makers will listen to this particular group </li></ul><ul><li>Interest groups that represent large constituencies will tend to have better access than others </li></ul>
  10. 10. Examples of Large Interest Groups <ul><li>National Rifle Association (NRA) </li></ul><ul><li>American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) </li></ul><ul><li>American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) </li></ul><ul><li>National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Chamber of Commerce </li></ul><ul><li>American Medical Association (AMA) </li></ul><ul><li>American Bar Association (ABA) </li></ul><ul><li>Sierra Club </li></ul>
  11. 11. Types of interest groups* <ul><li>Economic sector: e.g. NAM ; AFL-CIO ; </li></ul><ul><li>Social sector: e.g. AARP ; NEA ; </li></ul><ul><li>Public sector: e.g. Greenpeace ; Human Rights Watch ; </li></ul><ul><li>Single issue groups: NRA ; PETA ; </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic groups: AIPAC ; AAI Foundation ; </li></ul><ul><li>Ideological groups: ACLU ; NARAL ; </li></ul><ul><li>Think-tanks: Heritage Foundation ; Brookings Institution (the oldest think tank in the US); </li></ul><ul><li>* the list below is not exhaustive </li></ul>
  12. 12. Interest group tactics <ul><li>Nearly all groups testify at hearings, lobby government officials, make informal contacts with legislators, present research or technical information, send letters to members to inform them about their activities, enter into coalitions with other groups; </li></ul><ul><li>Some interest groups publicize candidate-voting records, conduct direct mail fundraising efforts, buy issue advocacy advertisements in the print or electronic media, contribute time and staff to election campaigns, endorse candidates, and participate in protests and demonstrations; </li></ul>
  13. 13. Interest group success <ul><li>How do we measure interest group success? </li></ul><ul><li>Passed legislation; </li></ul><ul><li>Campaign contributions; </li></ul><ul><li>Public opinion; </li></ul><ul><li>Media visibility; </li></ul><ul><li>Some questions: </li></ul><ul><li>Are lobbying groups more successful in PR systems than in two-party systems? </li></ul><ul><li>Are specific types of interest groups more successful than others? </li></ul>

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