Presentation on theme: "Interest Groups and Lobbying Special interests and public interests."— Presentation transcript:
Interest Groups and Lobbying Special interests and public interests
Interest Groups and Lobbying What are interest groups? How do interest groups fit into a democracy? What is the theory of pluralism and why do some people say interest groups benefit society? What are the types of interest groups? How do interest groups affect policy?
Interest Groups Interest Groups (definition): groups or organizations that try to achieve their goals through actively influencing government policy
Interest Groups in Democracy Paradox—government is motivated to respond to group pressure for group needs and we join in society as a member of various groups, but we see these interests as bad. How can interest groups be a democratic paradox?
Interest Groups in Democracy How can interest groups fit into a democracy? Why do interest groups form?
Interest Groups in Democracy Special interests and public interests Pluralism- theory that government is responsive to citizens as members of groups working together to promote their interests. Socio-Economic Status explanation
Special Interests and Public Interests Special Interests: interest groups organized and motivated to influence government in order to advance their own interests (often financial interests) Public Interests: Interest groups organized and motivated to influence government in order to advance the general interests
Interest Groups in Democracy Pluralism- theory that government is responsive to citizens as members of groups working together to promote their interests. – One person can have effect only as a group member – People naturally form into groups – Groups factions usually check one another – No need to participate for your interests to be heard
How interest benefit society? Promote cooperation Facilitate bargaining Unifies issues Communicate to members
Types of interest groups Membership Groups Checkbook Groups Economic Groups Public Issue Groups Social Groups
Why do interest groups form? Diversity of interest Interests to promote Interests to defend Times of Trouble (opportunities) Not all groups form…
Unorganized Collective Action Problem for Interests – “Free rider“ problem – Enforcement mechanism – Side benefits – Single, large contributor Lower income, lower education, dispersed interests often don’t form
Socio-Economic Status Explanation Potential interest groups of people with fewer political resources have a tendency to not mobilize or form. Lower income, lower education, dispersed interests often don’t form.
How interest groups affect policy Interest Group Influence Numbers Money – Access or Quid Pro Quo Direct Lobbying – personal contact, expertise, testifying, litigating Indirect Lobbying – mobilization, grassroots and astroturf, issue advocacy ads
Political Action Committees PACs are the organizations through which interest groups distribute campaign contributions to candidates and parties. Political scientists have found that donations buy access to officials but not necessarily influence.
Can the general public win? Votes cast as individuals Government appears to interact with us as members of groups Democratic responsiveness Bias toward some groups Special interests or public interests
Groups and Democracy "Choir in the pluralist heaven sings with an upper class accent"—E.E. Schattschneider Interest group democracy? Special interest corruption? Efforts to control Fox guarding the henhouse?