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Chapter 5

COMPLETE The Policymaking Process Notes - Chapter 5 (4.0ed this course!)

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Political Science
CAS PO 331
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Birkland Chapter 5: Unofficial Actors and Their Roles in Public Policy Saturday, March 22, 2014 4:06 PM I. Individual Citizens ○ Low levels of participation and voting  Small voter turnouts make conclusions about public preferences impossible  Even less people participate in other political activities such as meetings and petitions  Low level of political knowledge among uninvolved people ○ Mobilization: Peopleor groups are motivatedto take action in response to an issue or problem  Women's suffrage and civil rights movements ○ Morris Fiorina: People want the most benefits at the lest cost, and for other people to pay for the benefits we receive  Individuals define efficiency as in getting the most services while paying the least taxes possible  Conflicts arise when gov't cannot provide for the interests of all groups  We want focused benefits but the costs spread among many ○ Theodore Lowi (The End of Liberalism): American gov't became less concerned with vital national issues because it have become moreinvolved with distribution of benefits to particular interests  There is no single public interest  Very difficult to prove that a policy would be in the broadest public interest because there is little agreement on what public interest is II. Interest Groups ○ Powerof individuals is greatly magnified when they form groups ○ The founding fathers wanted to prevent faction ○ Barriers in interest groups are not political, but collective action  Effective interest group activity is expensive ○ Howlett and Ramesh: Some groups are more powerful than others because the most important resource of interest groups is knowledge  Legislators draw of information to make decisions and the group with the most available knowledge has the advantage  Communicationwith key decision makers requires substantial resources and effort ○ Peak associations:Largest, mostinfluential groups in politics that represent other groups and advocateon a large scale  National Rifle Association and American Medical Association  A larger group would have a louder influence on policymaking due to morevoices and resources  In order to create a large group, strong incentives are needed ○ Social movement:Group of people that cometogether to press for political or policy goals  Can involve many different groups creating a coalition  Very high visibility and often creates an active oppression group III. Types of Interest Groups ○ Institutional interest group: Group of people whose membersare part of the same institution ○ Membership group: Membersmake the positive decision to join ○ Economic/privateinterest groups: Formed to promoteand defend the economicinterests of their members ○ Public interest groups: Formed to promotewhat its membersbelieve is the broader public interest  Nonmemberscan be considered free riders who benefit from the work of the group without contributing resources or effort In both public interest and economicgroups, people join because they gain some benefits ○ In both public interest and economicgroups, people join because they gain some benefits  Important to note that many groups do not fit neatly into the public interest/economicdichotomy ○ Lobbying: Organized and ongoing process of persuading the legislative or executive branches to enact policies that promotean individual's or group's interest  This term has taken a negative connation because large monetary exchanges and dishonest politicians □ In Nixon v. Shrink Missouri Gov't PAC, Justice Souter said that large donors can jeopardize the willingness of voters to take part in democratic governance □ People's objection to lobbying comesfrom the perception that well funded interest groups have influence over politicians  Although campaign money is tracked and reported, it is true that many groups try to hide their contributions to their candidates ○ Groups can use litiga
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