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Pressure groups


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All about pressure groups

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Pressure groups

  1. 1. Pressure Groups
  2. 2. Pressure Groups …  an organized group that aims to influence the policies or actions of government through the use of lobbying and propaganda. act as a channel of communication between the people and government.
  3. 3. Pressure groups; defined by three key features:  They seek to exert influence from outside, rather than to win or exercise government power.  They typically have a narrow issue focus. In some cases, they may focus on a single issue.  Their members are united by either a shared
  4. 4. History  First, in the pre-industrial phase from the 1830s to 1870s, charitable organizations assisting the poor represented the dominant form of association. Membership in these organization consisted mostly of middle class citizens.
  5. 5. … history  Second phase corresponds to the process of industrialization between the 1860s and the early 1900s. During this time, group membership began to cross class lines. This period saw the establishment of economic groups such as trade unions and employer's organizations. Moreover, agricultural groups formed in order to represent their interests.
  6. 6. … History  The third phase lasted from 1920 to the late 1950s and was characterized by the emergence of professional associations and promotional groups. Group membership increased to embrace progressively larger segments of the population.
  7. 7. … history  The fourth and present phase can be regarded as a product of post industrialism. It is characterized by the rise of groups promoting postindustrial values, environmental issues, and civil rights. In general, postindustrial democracies tend to display a higher level of pluralism than previous phases.
  8. 8. Types of Pressure Groups  Interest groups and Cause Groups  Insider Groups and Outsider Groups
  9. 9. Interest Groups A pressure group that exists to advance or protect the (usually material) interests of its members. Features: They are concerned to protect or advance the interests of their members. Membership is limited to people in a particular occupation, career or economic position. Members are
  10. 10. Cause groups A pressure group that exists to advance particular values, ideals and principles. Features: They seek to advance particular ideals or principles. Membership is open to all. Members are motivated by moral or altruistic concerns (the betterment of others).
  11. 11. Insider groups A pressure group that enjoys regular, privileged and usually institutionalized access to government Subcategories: High-profile insider groups. Low-profile insider groups. Prisoner groups.
  12. 12. Outsider groups A pressure group that is either not consulted by government or consulted only irregularly and not usually at a senior level Kinds: Potential insider groups. Outsider groups by necessity. Ideological outsider groups.
  13. 13. Kinds of pressures and Pressure politics  Group Pressure in the Legislature. The activities of pressure groups in the legislature are most evident in the support of a legislative proposal if it is for the promotion of the Group Pressure Upon Administrators. If a pressure group fails to win the support of the legislature on a bill it is interested in defeating, it may still strive for a presidential veto.
  14. 14. Kinds of Pressures…  Group Pressure Upon Judges. Pressure politics has also gained access into the sanctuaries of justice- the courts. Group Pressure Upon Political Parties and Candidates. Group pressure brought up to bear upon political parties and candidates is done through electioneering.
  15. 15. LOBBYING TECHNIQUE LOBBY is a “term derived from the Halls of Britain’s House of Commons” where people could, and still do, approach member of the Parliament to plead their cause. LOBBYISTS are groups that aim to pursue campaigns to oppose a bill or to organize an advertising campaign aimed at raising people’s awareness with the public. LOBBYING is thus a technique of influence, helping INTEREST GROUPS advance their common goals.
  16. 16. TYPES OF LOBBYING DIRECT LOBBYING Act of communicating a specific position directly to a legislator, staff member and any other public official who has a voice in a piece of legislation GRASSROOTS LOBBYING Communicates a particular view regarding a specific legislative proposal to the general public and persuades citizens to relay this view to their local legislators.
  17. 17. Functions of pressure groups  Representation  Political participation  Education
  18. 18. REPRESENTATION PRESSURE GROUPS provide a mouthpiece for groups and interests that are not adequately represented through the electoral process or by political parties.  *FUNCTIONAL REPRESENTATION - alternative to the formal representative.
  19. 19. POLITICAL PARTICIPATION PRESSURE GROUPS convince people effectively to develop interest and participation from broad based discussions on pressing issues affecting them.
  20. 20. EDUCATION PRESSURE GROUPS operate largely through their ability to communicate with the public and raise political consciousness
  21. 21. POLICY FORMULATION PRESSURE GROUPS are a vital source of information and advice to governments.
  22. 22. Policy implementation  The role of some pressure groups extends beyond trying to shape the content of public policy to playing a role in putting policy into practice.
  23. 23. STRATEGIES OF PRESSURE GROUPS INTEREST GROUPS IN THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT  monitor the preparation of a legislative bill  look for a legislator to introduce it  influence the committee and subcommittee to which it is assigned  follow it through hearings, subcommittee vote, full committee vote, and house vote INTEREST GROUPS IN THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT  employ about the same strategies they practiced with lawmakers  providing the concerned agency research statistics and factual information  personal communication with executive officials through hired contact men  other publicity campaigns and propaganda tactics INTEREST GROUPS IN THE JUDICIARY  manipulating what could be court decisions
  25. 25. Factors affect the power of individual groups:  Wealth  Size  Organization and Leadership
  26. 26. WEALTH Business groups have a number of key advantages over other groups:   As the main source of employment and investment in the economy, all governments, regardless of their ideological beliefs, must seek their cooperation and support.   They possess knowledge and expertise that are essential to the formulation of economic, industrial and trade policies.   They possess the financial strength to employ professional lobbyists and public relations consultants, and to make donations to political parties.   They often have high public profiles, have access to the media and can run advertising campaigns.
  27. 27. SIZE LARGE GROUPS CAN CLAIM TO REPRESENT PUBLIC OPINION.  Government listens to them because, at the end of the day, their members can have an electoral impact.   MORE MEMBERS MEANS MORE SUBSCRIPTIONS AND DONATIONS.  Large groups tend to be wealthy groups   A LARGE MEMBERSHIP ALLOWS GROUPS TO ORGANIZE POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS AND PROTESTS.  Groups such as trade unions use their members as a key resource. Members are the main people who turn up to marches and demonstrations.
  28. 28. ORGANIZATION AND LEADERSHIP Organization helps groups to mobilize their resources effectively and to take concerted action. Some groups are easier to organize than others The attributes of an effective leader include:   ACUTE POLITICAL SKILLS – they know how the policy process works, who to network with and how to exert pressure   GOOD POLITICAL CONTACTS – they know the ‘right’ people   DEVELOPED MEDIA AND PRESENTATIONAL SKILLS – they know how to put a case   A HIGH PUBLIC PROFILE – they are publicly recognized and maybe even liked
  29. 29. How do pressure groups exert influence?  Ministers and civil servants  Parliament  Political parties 
  30. 30. Which pressure groups are the most powerful?  Affecting government policy – policy- making power  Pushing an issue up the political agenda – agenda-setting power  Changing people’s values, perceptions
  31. 31. The rise of pressure-group power  The growth of cause groups  The widening of access points  Globalization
  32. 32. The decline of pressure groups  The end of corporatism  A decline in meaningful and active participation
  33. 33. How do pressure groups promote democracy?  Supplement electoral democracy  Widen political participation  Promote education  Ensure competition and debate
  34. 34. How do pressure groups threaten democracy?  Increase political inequality  Exercise non-legitimate power  Exert ‘behind the scenes’ influence  Lead to the tyranny of the minority