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CAS PO 331 (27)
Lecture 16

Lecture 16 Interest Groups.pdf

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Political Science
CAS PO 331
Kate Krimmel

Lecture #16: Interest Groups Tuesday, March 25, 2014 9:33 AM Interest Groups and Lobbying - Interest groups: Group of people with commoninterests ○ Institutional and membership ○ Private and public - Pluralism: Idea of competitionbetween different groups to be represented equally (in contrast to elitism) - David Truman: "GovernmentalProcess"argued that interest groups are natural and inevitable ○ American system is conducive to interest groups because there are many access points - Schneider: There are biases in the pressure system between interest groups ○ Resources are distributed unequally in society - Guillens:Some groups are more affluent than others in representing their interests - Mobilization is difficult due to collective action problems ○ Bigger the group, the harder ○ Resources such as money can act as incentives ○ Group sizes and stakes are inversely related - Rational/economicincentives are not the only incentives ○ Selective incentives: Benefits only for the people that contribute - Groups are often organized and formed by active political actors - Roman Catholic Church is the only group with more membersthan the AARP - Lobbyists are a good source of informationand representation of interests ○ Can help with building coalition and cost-benefit analysis - Concerns about lobbying: Unfair representationdue to scarce resources - Federalist 10: Factions are inevitable because limiting interest groups would be limiting liberty - Number of interest groups have expanded tremendously ○ Most came from preexisting institutions ○ Religions have provided a strong foundation to many groups ○ Technological advances have made collective action easier ○ Civil Rights movementencouraged many groups to push for change ○ Increasingly well educated and affluent middle class ○ Growth of an organization can cause the opposing organization to grow  Opposition groups are not threating, groups that appeal to the same group of audience is ○ Federal governmentgrowth has caused moreinterest groups to emerge  Easier to defend than to get something new ○ Governmenthas explicitly encouraged interest groups  Incentives such as non-profit tax exemptions - Organization survival is the most important goal of interest groups ○ Insider tactics: Require political access through mutually beneficial exchanges  Keeping in touch with policymakersand their staffs  Giving information such as problem definition and policy alternatives □ Technical and political information
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