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Lecture 3

POL 1101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Theodore J. Lowi

Political Science
Course Code
POL 1101
Wolfgang Koerner

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Interest Groups and Lobbying
Oct. 21
Modern government has moved from exercising its traditional role as an
authoritative allocator of society’s resources, to being a competitor in the
demand system
o Governments are responsible for declining values in society
As states become involved in the establishment of social programs, they compete
for the required resources with other sectors
o They also need to continually seek legitimation for these programs
They need special interest groups + public support
Functions of interest groups: Organizations whose members act together to
influence policy in order to promote their common interests
o They also seek support among other groups through advocacy
o They influence the decision making process
Lobby groups act as agents of political socialization
Governments may often encourage the creation of special interest groups
o Areas where there’s a social problem and citizens aren’t being organized
Governments can use lobbying to cloak policy changes
o “White papers”
Meant to interest people in a specific group
Gave feedback to the government
o Popular technique used by governments
Interest groups also provide regulatory and administrative services
o Way to connect people with politics
Governments often give financial support to community groups that dealt with
policy issues
o i.e. birth control c. 1980
Theodore Lowi argued the prevailing notion that interest groups as legitimate
and good has served to undermine the basic sense of legitimacy and authority of
modern government
o As gov. has expanded its role and impact, it slowly abducted its power
over two private groups
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