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Chapter 9 Interest Groups. Interest groups exist to make demands on the government and usually deal with ideological, public interest, foreign policy,

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 9 Interest Groups. Interest groups exist to make demands on the government and usually deal with ideological, public interest, foreign policy,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 9 Interest Groups

2 Interest groups exist to make demands on the government and usually deal with ideological, public interest, foreign policy, government itself, as well as ethnic, religious, and racial issues and groups


4 Interest group- A collection of people who share a common interest or attitude and seek to influence government for specific ends. Interest groups usually work within the framework of government and try to achieve their goals through tactics such as lobbying. The American Medical Association and the United States Chamber of Commerce are examples of interest groups.

5 Political parties and interest groups are different: a. Political parties aim to attain or maintain power, however interest groups do not have such an aim, instead they aim to influence decision making and the politicians. b. Second, parties blend various demands, not just support particular ones because they have to appeal to more people, however interest groups focus upon particular issues.

6 Interest groups reach out to the public for these reasons: 1. To supply information in support of the group’s interests 2. To build a positive image for the group 3. To promote a particular public policy

7 Because of the many different opinions and interests of Americans, interest groups are made in order to advocate for their special issue.

8 Interest group power can be affected by size, resources, cohesiveness, leadership, and techniques

9 pluralism-A theory of government that holds that open, multiple, and competing groups can check the asserted power by any one group. Using multiple factions to check the power of other factions is one example of pluralism.

10 Single-Issue Group - A group that is involved in political campaigning on one essential policy area or idea. An example of a Single-Issue Group is the Greedy 40% Extra group that protested against politician wage increase.


12 Tactics of interest groups: 1. Control of information and expertise. Ex. Oil corporations know about oil business than anybody else. 2. Electoral activity: Especially for groups with large number of members to vote or raise money for certain candidates. 3. Use of economic power: M. Luther King managed to organize a boycott of the city bus system of Montgomery, Alabama. 4. Public information campaigns: using media to enlighten the masses about an issue. 5. Violence and disruption: Ex. separatist groups. 6. Litigation: Ex. to file court cases. Amicus Curiae brief

13 Litigation - civil action brought before a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have received damages from a defendant's actions, seeks a legal or equitable remedy. Litigation and lawsuits can be used interchangeably. and lawsuits can be used interchangeably. Amicus curiae brief- Literally, a "friend of the court" brief, filed by an individual or organization to present arguments in addition to those presented by the immediate parties to a case. The Amicus Curiae brief is a way to reveal a individual group by presenting its arguments.

14 Some problems regarding interest groups: a. Not all interest groups are equally well organized. For instance, producer interests are always easier to organize than consumer interests. b. Some groups command a disproportionate voice in the interest group system because they have special advantages. Thus they sway politicians into their own interests at the expense of the whole country. c. Most interest groups are not organized democratically. The side benefits of joining any interest group are called selective incentives. Free rider problem: members try to get the benefits without contributing.

15 Free rider- An individual who does not join a group representing his or her interests yet receives the benefit of the group's influence.

16 Federal Register- An official document, published every weekday, which lists the new and proposed regulations of executive departments and regulatory agencies. Changes in the Federal Register for good for their respective interest groups is what interest groups want.

17 lobbyist- A person who is employed by and acts for an organized interest group or corporation to try to influence policy decisions and positions in the executive and legislative branches. The lobbyist tries to gain attention and interest of political officers to vie for their interest groups.



20 lobbying- Engaging in activities aimed at influencing public officials, especially legislators, and the policies they enact. Lobbyists are lobbying when they try to coerce government officials to support their cause.

21 Revolving door- Employment cycle in which individuals who work for governmental agencies that regulate interests eventually end up working for interest groups of businesses with the same policy concern. Members of government agencies that favor the topic go through the revolving door if they join an interest group dealing with the topic.

22 issue network- Relationships among interest groups, congressional committees and subcommittees, and the government agencies that share a common policy concern. The issue network is a large interest group made up of smaller interest groups, if they share similar concerns.

23 political action committee (PAC)- The political aim of an interest group that is legally entitled to raise funds on a voluntary basis from members, stockholders, or employees to contribute funds to candidates or political parties. PACS are very influential in the elections, as they are the primary funders for political candidates.

24 leadership PAC- A PAC formed by an office holder that collects contributions from individuals and other PACs and then makes contributions to other candidates and political parties. Leadership PACS are like individual PACS, except that more committees are involved and an office-held PAC serves as a middle man. bundling- A tactic in which PACs collect contributions from like- minded individuals (each limited to $2,000) and present them to a candidate or political party as a "bundle," thus increasing the PAC's influence. By one PAC collecting more money from its contributors by bundling, the political candidates can see more influence in the higher paying PAC.

25 Iron Triangle - the policymaking relationship among the congressional committees, bureaucracies, and interest groups. The iron triangle is the main policymaking institution in American politics.

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