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Interest Groups and Representation.docx

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Political Science
Course Code
POLS 1150

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1 POLS 1150 - 01 Interest Groups and Representation why should interest groups be part of representation in liberal democracies Friday November 8 2013 Using the term "interest" group • in liberalism assumption that all organized groups are interest groups • pluralism: interest groups determine political outcomes (state, policy, action) • groups rival one another in civil society Contradictions • role as rational self - interested individual and as citizen • sets up conflict between private interest and public interest • is it important to differentiate groups according to private interest and public interest? • -stakeholder groups, public interest groups What are the functions of interest groups? • public interest groups: organized in response to a specific issue • MADD • specific issue groups may have a broader focus • stakeholder: institutionalized interests of broad groups such as professional groups, business groups: BBB, insurance associations, real estate, legal societies, medical association • both types of these groups can develop extensive and permanent structures Functions: • administrative, regulatory agencies • information, member service is important How do interest groups influence public policy? 2 • public awareness • public action • some groups never need public action, but have resources for other means • direct action groups do not have the ear of government, or the ear of many people in society • another way they influence public policy - groups that are closer with the government may be in consultation with them and have an inside track • 1
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