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Chapter 9

Intro to US Gov & Pol [COMPLETE NOTES] Chapter 9 -- I 4.0ed this course

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Political Science
PS 101
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PS 101-Ch 9 I. Textbook o Interest Groups:An organization of people who share common political interests and aim to influence public policy by electioneering and lobbying o Lobbying: Efforts to influence public policy through contact with public officials on behalf of an interest group o Interest group state:Agovernment in which most policy decisions are determined by the influence of interest groups o Latent:Agroup of politically like-minded people that is not represented by any interest group. o Trade association:An interest group composed of companies in the same business or industry(the same “trade”) that lobbies for policies that benefit members of the group o Economic group:Atype of interest group that seeks public policies that provide monetary benefits to its members o Citizen group:Atype of interest group that seeks changed in spending, regulations, or government programs concerning a wide range of policies(also known as a public interest group) o Single-issue group:Atype of interest group that has a narrowly focused goal, seeking change on a single topic, government program, or piece of legislation. o Centralized Group: Interest groups that have a headquarters, usually in Washington, DC, as well as members and field offices throughout the country. In general, these groups’lobbying decisions are made at headquarters by the group leaders. o Confederations: Interest groups made up of several independent, local organizations that provide much of their funding and hold most of the power. o Revolving door: The movement of individuals from government positions to jobs with interest groups of lobbying firms, and vice versa. o Mass associations: Interest groups that have a large number of dues- paying individuals as members. o Peak associations: Interest groups whose members are businesses or other organizations rather than individuals. o Prisoners’dilemma: Asimple two-person game that illustrates how actions that are in a player’s individual self-interest may lead to outcomes that all players consider inferior. o Free Riding: The practice of relying on others to contribute to a collective effort while failing to participate on one’s own behalf, yet still benefiting from the group’s successes. o CollectiveActions Problem:A situation in which members of a group would benefit by working together to produce some outcome, but each individual is better off refusing to cooperate and reaping benefits from those who do work. o Solidary benefits: Satisfaction derived from the experience of working with like-minded people, even if the group’s efforts do not achieve the desired impact. o Purposive benefits: Satisfaction derived from the experience of working toward a desired policy goal, even if the goal is not achieved o Coercion:Amethod of eliminating nonparticipations or free riding by potential group members by requiring participation, as in many labor unions. o Selective incentives: Benefits that can motivate participation in a group effort because they are available only to those who participate, such as member services offered by interest groups. o Inside Strategies: The tactics employed within Washington, DC, by interest groups seeking to achieve their policy goals. o Outside Strategies: The tactics employed outside Washington, DC by interest groups seeking to achieve their policy goals. o Direct Lobbying:Attempts by interest group staff to influence policy by speaking with elected officials or bureaucrats. o Grassroots Lobbying:Alobbying strategy that relies on participation by group members, such as a protest or a letter writing campaign. o Astroturf Lobbying:Any lobbying method initiated by an interest group that is designed to look like the spontaneous, independent participation of many individuals. o 501( c)(3) organization:Atax code classifications that applies to most interest groups; this designation makes donations to the group tax- deductible but limits the group’s political activities. o PoliticalAction Committee (PAC):An interest group or a division of an interest group that can raise money to contribute to campaigns or to spend on ads in support of candidates. The amount a PAC can receive from each of its donors and the amount it can spend on federal campaigning are strictly limited. o 527 Organization:Atax-exempt group formed primarily to influence elections through voter mobilization efforts and issue ads that do not directly endorse or oppose a candidate. Unlike PAC, 527s are not subject to contribution limits and spending caps. o Taking the late train:An interest group strategy that involves donating money to the winning candidate after an election in hopes of securing a meeting with that person when he/she takes office. o Initiative:Adirect vote by citizens on a policy change proposed by fellow citizens or organized groups outside government. Getting a question on the ballot typically requires collecting a set of signatures from registered voters in support of the proposal. There is no mechanism for a national level initiative. o Referendum:Adirect vote by citizens on a policy change proposed by a legislature or other government body. Referenda are common in sate and local elections, but there is no mechanism for a national level referendum. o Salience: The level of familiarity with an interest group’s goals among the general population. II. Lecture(3/25/13) Interest Groups A. What is an Interest Group? 1. An organization of people who share common political interests and aim to influence public policy by electioneering and lobbying 2. Some examples? B. How Do They Differ From… 1. Pressure groups 2. Parties 3. “Special interests” (When people don’t like an interest group) C. The Interest Group Universe 1. Thousands of registered interest groups 2. A big increase in recent decades 3. Some groups have millions of members D. Why So Many Groups?(KNOW THIS) 1. Diverse society = many different interests 2. Structure of American constitutional system a. Federalism + separation of powers gives many different access points 3. Relative weakness of political parties a. In systems where parties are strong, interests work through the parties b. In systems where parties are weaker, interest groups operate directly on the government E. Interest Groups and Democracy 1. de Tocqueville’s Observation(KNOW) a. Americans are a “nation of joiners” and this is a reflections of a strong democratic culture F. Madison’s Observation(KNOW) 1. People are naturally inclined to associate with one another 2. Factions many be dangerous, but eliminating them would restrict liberty G. Roles of Interest Groups 1. Representation a. Groups represent their constituents before government 2. Participation a. They facilitate people’s participation in politics 3. Education a. Of members, the government, and public officials 4. Agenda-building a. Their advocacy brings new issues to the agenda 5. Program monitoring a. Keep track of how programs are working and try to persuade government to take action when issues arise H. Types of Groups 1. Economic groups a. Corporations, trade associations, labor groups, professional organizations b. Seek to promote policies that will help their members monetarily 2. Citizen groups (aka public interest groups) a. Seek changes in spending, regulation, or government programs across a wide range of policies 3. Single-interest groups a. Have a narrowly focused goal focusing o
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