Political Science 222 lecture 15.docx

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Poli Sci 222
Lecture 15
March 20, 2012
Interest Groups
We are linked to government through, interest groups, pressure groups, policy
processes,
Schattschneider: “Politics is the mobilization of bias”
Key Points:
o Where do groups come from?
o How and to what degree are they organized?
o How and under what conditions do they exert influence?
o What role do they play in democratic politics
Is it a legitimate part of politics or should we be scared of it? (Pressure politics)
Interest Group Pluralism
Pluralism
o Competitive field
o First generation of scholars, : Arthur Bentley & David Truman
State as neutral arbiter
Problem: where do interest groups come from?
Basic idea that power was diffused by the groups that represent them
What was policy making?
o Choosing between groups
o Between arguments of what was required and what was wanted
Critique:
o Its competitive
o Working from the same playing field
o You assume that there will be a group or organization to take on that role
Mancur Olson: The Logic of Collective Action (1965)
Why would interest groups form in the first place?
Central conundrum: public goods are distinguished by a central characteristic: non
excludability
o Free riders
o Not to get involved in actions because they’ll be able to enjoy other goods
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