POL111- Ch 9.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL111H5
Professor
Fiona Miller
Semester
Winter

Description
POL111- Jan 21st 2014 Chapter 9 & - Interest Groups Ch 9 – Interest Groups • Interest Groups aka “Pressure Groups” o Are non-governmental organizations which seek to influence public policy  Ex/ employers’ organizations, consumer groups, professional bodies o Functions  Crucial channel of communication btw society and government such as in liberal democracies  Pursue specialized concerns, seeking to influence without becoming the government  Not election-fighting  adapt low-key approach in dealing with whatever power structure confronts them. o Characteristics  Their staff continually are negotiating with bureaucrats over the details of proposed regulations  Pressing their case in legislative committee hearings  Seeking to influence media coverage  Traditionally • Covered bodies specially created for lobbying purposes • Excludes – businesses, churches and sub-national or overseas governments • Rather predictable  Currently • Lobbying is done by organizations whose primary focus is elsewhere • Can be limiting but influence can be universal o Relationship btw interest groups and state  As an essential component of a free society, separate from the state  As partners with the state securing a well-regulated society  As organization operating under the leadership of the state defines general will o Emergence  series of waves • Social change • Expansion of state activity • Interest groups activity is a response to the growth of public regulation • Activity of group = when and where state is more active Classifying Interest Groups • Unitary groups (members are individuals) o Protective groups – ‘sectional’ or ‘functional groups’ • Seek selective benefits for their members and insiders status with relevant government departments  Represent clear occupational interests, protective associations are often the most influential of all groups  Well established = well connected =well resourced • Role/ Characteristics • The protective bodies give priority to influencing government and can invoke sanctions to help them achieve their goals o Ex/ workers can go on strike, business organizations can withdraw their cooperation with government • Can be based on local interests o Geographical groups emerge when shared interests of people living in the same location are threatened by plans or government policies Comes and Goes o Geographical bodies = Nimby ( Not In My Back Yard)  A collective Nimby group can generate Banana outcome  Banana (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone) • Scrutinizing the government activityProtective groups mostly deal with o Promotional group • Advocate ideas, identities, policies and values  Aka = advocacy, attitude, campaign and cause group • Focus  Members interested in the issue concerned without, in most cases, possessing a material stake in how it is resolved o Issues abortion, the environment or global development  Targets media and public opinion  Seek to influence broad policy matters • Membership  Members of political parties  Credit card affiliates o Ensure financial contribution  donors commitment o Delegates pursuit of the cause to the group’s leaders Protective groups Promotional groups Aims A group of: defends an interest A group for: promotes a cause Membership Closed: Membership is restricted Open : Anyone can join Status Insider: Frequently consulted by Outsider: Consulted less government and actively seeks this often by government  role Targets public opinion and the media Benefits Selective: only group members Collective: Benefits go to benefit both members and non- members Focus Group aims to influence national Groups seeks to influence
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