Interest Groups


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Interest Groups

  1. 1.
  2. 2. Clicker Question<br />Are you HERE?<br />A. Yes<br />B. No<br />
  3. 3. Clicker Question<br />Do you currently have political INTERESTS?<br />A. Yes<br />B. No<br />
  4. 4. Clicker Question<br />Are you currently a member of an INTEREST group?<br />A. Yes<br />B. No<br />
  5. 5. What are Interest Groups?<br />Organizations that see to achieve some of their goals by influencing government decision making.<br /> 1. Shared Interest<br /> 2. Organizational Structure<br />
  6. 6. Shameless Plug…<br />Spring 2012<br />POLS 2401: Global Issues<br />**Transfers in Area E** <br />MW 10:00-11:15<br />
  7. 7. Parties vs. Interest Groups<br />
  8. 8. Interest Groups and Democracy<br />PRO: Interest groups represent the interests of their members, encourage political participation, transmit preferences between elections, educate and mobilize voters, lobby, and monitor governmental activity. <br />CON: As Schattschneider says, “The flaw in the pluralist heaven is that the heavenly chorus sings with a strong upper-class accent.”<br />Who Joins<br />What interests mobilize<br />What does it take to be successful?<br />BIAS<br />Are Interest Groups Good for Democracy?<br />
  9. 9. Interest Groups and Bias<br />Pluralism or Elitism?<br />Pluralist Theory: Holds that policy making is a competition among diverse in interests that CAN and DO mobilize into groups to exert influence over the government…<br />Elite Theory: The Ruling Class, composed of wealthy, educated individuals wields most of the power in government…<br />Are all INTERESTS organized into GROUPS?<br />Are we closer to Pluralism or Elitism today?<br />
  10. 10. Clicker Question<br />Do you agree or disagree that political interest groups are good for American democracy? <br /> a. Strongly agree<br /> b. Agree<br /> c. Disagree<br /> d. Strongly disagree <br />
  11. 11. Who Joins Interest Groups?<br />Interest group membership is not random!<br /> People with higher incomes, higher education levels, and management or professional occupations are more likely to be group members than those in lower socioeconomic levels. <br />Are you a voluntary member of an Interest Group?<br />
  12. 12. Who Joins Interest Groups?<br />
  13. 13. “Latent” Interests<br />Many public policy “interests” are not organized into “groups.” either because no one has organized them or because there is no way to organize the group.<br />Examples: Undergraduates, Tall People, Left-Handed People, The Homeless, Sex-Offenders…<br />The Elderly were a “potential interest” until AARP was founded in 1958.<br />Should ALL interests be FREE to organize?<br />
  14. 14. Clicker Question<br />ALL “interests” present in society should be free to organize and attempt to influence the government.<br /> a. Strongly agree<br /> b. Agree<br /> c. Disagree<br /> d. Strongly disagree <br />
  15. 15. Attracting and Retaining Members<br />Remember the “Free-Riding” problem?<br />So, how do you get people (with common interests) to organize into a group?<br />ANSWER: Give’em Stuff!<br />Selective Incentives<br />1. Solidary – Feeling of belonging, companionship.<br />2. Purposive – Believing in the group’s cause. <br />3. Economic (Material) – Networking, Career Related, National Geographic Magazine, AAA<br />4. Informational – GPSA, Journal of Politics<br />Which types of groups struggle with recruitment and retention?<br />
  16. 16. Clicker Question<br />What does an Interest Group need MOST to be powerful?<br />A. Money<br />B. Good Selective Incentives<br />C. A large membership<br />D. A clear message<br />
  17. 17. What Makes an IG Successful?<br />1. Resources, Resources, Resources<br />2. Size<br /> 3. Leadership<br /> 4. Cohesiveness<br />The most effective groups like the NRA and AARP have all of these.<br />
  18. 18. Clicker Question<br />Should contributing money be considered political speech and therefore protected?<br />A. Absolutely<br />B. To a certain extent<br />C. Only in a very limited way<br />D. Not at all<br />
  19. 19. Most Powerful Interest Groups:<br />
  20. 20. Interest Group Typology<br />PRIVATE<br />Business and Agricultural – Economic Sectors, Large Corporations, Chamber of Commerce, Farm Bureau Federation… <br />Labor – AFL-CIO, United Mine Workers, National Education Association, Teamsters…<br />Trade and Professional Associations – AMA, ADA, ABA, American Bankers Association…<br />PUBLIC<br />Public Interests – Sierra Club, Common Cause, ACLU, NRA<br />Ideological Groups – People for American Way, Christian Coalition, Tea Party Patriots<br />Also, Public-Sector Groups – National League of Cities, Brookings Institution, CATO Institute, universities, <br />Which groups are more prevalent?<br />
  21. 21. Clicker Question<br />In grassroots mobilization, interest groups:<br />A. deal directly with just junior members of Congress <br />B. file suits in state and local courts <br />C. deal directly with lower-level bureaucrats <br />D. attempt to involve the general citizenry and voters <br />
  22. 22. Interest Group Strategies<br />DIRECT – Lobbying: To communicate face-to-face with decision makers<br />Also: Litigation; Testimony; <br />INDIRECT – Mobilizing Public Opinion (Climate Control); Electioneering;<br />We can also think about strategies as<br />Insider: Lobbying; Campaign Finance; Testimony; Litigation; <br />Outsider: Climate Control; Litigation; <br />
  23. 23. Interest Group Strategies<br />
  24. 24. Clicker Question<br />Are you still HERE?<br />A. Yes<br />B. No<br />