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Interest/Pressure Groups. In the American Political System. Interest Group - A Definition. An interest group is a private organization of like-minded people whose goal is to influence and shape public policy. Interest groups are “extra-constitutional”. Early Development.

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interest pressure groups

Interest/Pressure Groups

In the American Political System

slide2

Interest Group - A Definition

  • An interest group is a private organization of like-minded people whose goal is to influence and shape public policy.
  • Interest groups are “extra-constitutional”.
slide3

Early Development

  • Date back to the time of the “Founding Fathers”
  • Seen as power-hungry
  • Believed to “promote instability, injustice, and confusion”
types of interest groups
Types of Interest Groups
  • Economic
  • Ideological or single-issue
  • Public interest
  • Foreign policy
  • Governmental
economic groups
Economic Groups
  • Business
  • Trade Associations
  • Labor
  • Professional Associations
ideological groups
Ideological Groups
  • Motivated for or against a particular issue, such as gun ownership and abortion rights
public interest groups
Public Interest Groups
  • Motivated by such issues as the environment, safe energy, consumer protection, and good government.
foreign policy interest groups
Foreign Policy Interest Groups
  • Concerned with the relationship between the United States and foreign nations. Examples include the Council on Foreign Relations, and AIPAC—the American-Israel Political Action Committee.
government interest groups
Government Interest Groups
  • Represent the interests of government employees, as well as elected officials from state and local governments.
characteristics and power of interest groups
Characteristics and Power of Interest Groups
  • Size and resources
  • Cohesiveness
  • Leadership
  • Techniques
  • Intensity
interest group techniques
Interest Group Techniques
  • Appeals to the public and mass media
  • Mass mailings
  • Influence of rule making
  • Litigation
  • Election Activities/electioneering
  • Forming a political party
  • Lobbying
slide13

Interest Groups vs. Political Parties

  • Interest groups…
    • support candidates, but cannot nominate them
    • take a narrow focus on most issues
    • compete for influence over elected officials
slide14

Interest Groups vs.Political Parties (con’t.)

  • Political parties…
    • can nominate candidates
    • focus on a broad range of issues to appeal to a broad range of people
    • compete for control of the branches of govt. to control policy making
proposals for reform
Proposals for Reform
  • Increasing the number of groups
  • Full disclosure
  • Increased federal and state regulations
slide16

Examples

  • Check out this web site for links to examples of the most influential interest groups in the U.S.!

http://www.smpcollege.com/SMP_GOVT/policy.

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interest pressure groups1

Interest/Pressure Groups

A necessary evil…

what do you think?

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