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Interest Groups and Social Movements 0 Forms of political participation 0 Express demands to decision makers 0 Strategies reflect resources and opportunities.

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Presentation on theme: "Interest Groups and Social Movements 0 Forms of political participation 0 Express demands to decision makers 0 Strategies reflect resources and opportunities."— Presentation transcript:

1 Interest Groups and Social Movements 0 Forms of political participation 0 Express demands to decision makers 0 Strategies reflect resources and opportunities 0 Interest groups = organizations citizens form to influence policy-makers 0 Social movements = engage in unconventional, confrontational forms of political activism

2 Interest Groups 0 Vast majority (pre-1970) represent business interests (firms, trade associations, peak organizations) 0 Iron triangles = interest groups, congressional subcommittees, federal agencies pursuing policies advantageous to them (e.g., defense contracting) 0 Growth in number since 1970s; outgrowth of civil rights, environmental, consumer, and feminist social movements (of 1960s) 0 “protest to politics”

3 David and Goliath 0 Business mobilized in reaction 0 Business groups largest, most organized, best- funded 0 More resources (money, staff, connections) 0 ½ of all lobbying groups; 85% of all total lobbying expenditures 0 Broad range of issues 0 Sophisticated, multifaceted lobbying 0 Campaign contributions, analysis; media, public opinion 0 More extensive, intensive 0 Use social connections, mobilization of bias 0 Business advantage checked when interests conflict or when opposed by public opinion

4 Changing Quality of Membership 0 Forming organizations requires time, leadership, resources; skills and resources not evenly distributed among groups 0 Higher status groups more common 0 Incentives to join, bear cost of organization 0 Material benefits (stuff) 0 Purposive incentives (common values, goals) 0 Interest group surge (since 1970s) due to recruitment on purposive incentives 0 Change in quality and class character of memberships 0 Mass membership organizations face increasing competition from professional advocacy groups with middle and upper class supporters

5 E-Media, Interest Groups, and Political Participation 0 Internet increased reach while reducing costs 0 Makes bureaucracy less necessary 0 Transformative effect on politics; facilitates collective action 0 Political entrepreneurs can mobilize virtual community 0 Quickens pace of politics (recruitment, mobilization, and group formation) 0 Interest group universe less stable 0 More direct communication between members, independent of leaders and formal organizations

6 Comparative Perspective 0 Rich democracies (Table 5.2) 0 Pluralist interest group systems (e.g., U.S.): divided, decentralized government; open policy making; weak political parties 0 Less encompassing; larger in number; more competitive; less centralized; weaker 0 Corporatist interest group systems (e.g., Austria, Germany, Sweden): licensing by state; compulsory membership; inclusion in policy making 0 More encompassing; fewer in number; less competitive; more centralized; stronger (sanctioning power) 0 Pluralist groups = press demands single-mindedly; adversarial, uncompromising 0 Corporatist = moderate group demands; larger/broader memberships encourage most general interest; inclusion encourages compromise for greater good

7 Social Movements 0 Not as hierarchical, formally organized 0 More ideological, contentious 0 More active and demanding level of participation 0 Arise in response to changes in political environment, new opportunities 0 Empower followers and develop sense of moral legitimacy 0 Organizations develop and disseminate alternative culture 0 identities, resources, and activities 0 “free spaces” where oppositional culture can grow 0 Flourish when expand conflict, mobilize former bystanders 0 Older social movements based around work, occupation 0 New social movements organized around identities, moral values, quality-of-life

8 Labor Movement 0 Congress passes National Labor Relations Act (1935) = right of workers to form unions; union membership surges 0 Social security, unemployment compensation, minimum-wage laws 0 Labor becomes powerful political force (allied with Democratic Party) 0 Greater working class influence in politics 0 Union contracts include wages, grievances, promotions, hiring, and layoffs 0 Membership peaks (1945), 35% of workforce unionized 0 Management tries to roll back gains following WWII; massive strikes 0 Republican Congress passes Taft-Hartley Act (1946), constrains unions and strikes 0 (1955) AFL-CIO merge, collective bargaining routinized, includes pensions, health insurance; increasingly centralized 0 Workers enjoy more security, higher standard of living, greater political influence 0 Business pushes back (1970s and 1980s) demands labor concessions 0 Union membership declines: changes in labor law make it harder to organize; employers increasingly antagonistic; drop in manufacturing jobs 0 Labor movement depleted, disarmed 0 Increasing numbers would like to belong to union 0 Strong support for Democratic party

9 Women’s Movement 0 First wave (1848) abolitionist movement (parallels between oppression of slaves and women) 0 (1890s) National American Woman Suffrage Association organized diverse women’s groups into movement, pressured Congress to pass 19 th Amendment (1920) 0 Second wave (1960s) (tied to struggle for black equality) 0 National Organization of Women (NOW) (1966) civil rights organization lobbied for equal rights 0 Achievements on pay and employment discrimination 0 Fell short on Equal Rights Amendment 0 Consciousness-raising groups challenged patriarchy 0 Included liberal feminists, socialist feminists 0 Third wave (1990s) 0 Identity-based, women’s empowerment

10 Religious Right 0 New Deal  Modern conservatism 0 Antagonized supporters of small government, free markets 0 Ethnic working-class voters threatened southern control of Democratic Party 0 New Deal coalition pushed Republican Party, business supporters to minority status 0 Emergence of Religious Right (evangelical, fundamentalist Christians) 0 Response to social issues (sex education, gay rights, abortion rights) and government policies 0 Moral decay, failure to maintain Christian values 0 Supporters from across class spectrum 0 Shifting political opportunities 0 Political entrepreneurs provide direction, resources 0 More powerful social movement of our time 0 Allied with Republican Party; critical to resurgence

11 Environmental Movement 0 First wave (Progressive era, early 1900s) = conservationists and preservationists 0 Sierra Club formed to manage public domain in public interest; pushed for expansion of scope of government to include environment responsibility 0 Second wave (post-WWII) = ecology movement 0 Clean air, pure water, safe food 0 New Left (1960s) = eco-sabotage, teach-ins; proactive, radical; critiqued consumerism, corporate power; authenticity, fundamental change s = environmentalism vs. economic growth; environmentalists as elitists; Republicans opposed to government regulation 0 Today, diverse movement (ecology = opposed to global warming; deep ecology = environmental justice (racial and class inequality)) 0 Fundamentalist and pragmatic wing; radical transformative change and working within system

12 Conclusion 0 Political participation open, not free; facilitated by class- related factors (time, money, education, civic skills, self- confidence, and contacts with social networks) 0 Uneven distribution of resources  uneven levels of political participation  inequalities in political outcomes 0 Policymakers respond to demands expressed; issues considered and what is done reflects interests of those who have resources to make views heard 0 Inequalities in political participation/political outcomes not inevitable 0 Citizens can develop political voices, change policies through elections, political parties, interest groups, and social movements


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