Gov and Politics - AS Unit 1 (Pressure Groups)

Alicia Brown
Flashcards by Alicia Brown, updated more than 1 year ago
Alicia Brown
Created by Alicia Brown over 2 years ago


A level Politics Flashcards on Gov and Politics - AS Unit 1 (Pressure Groups), created by Alicia Brown on 02/01/2018.

Resource summary

Question Answer
Definition of Pressure Groups - Try to influence decisions - do not expect to make decisions themselves - Try to influence the details of those decisions and they will be implemented. - Try to influence decisions in a policy area. - Try to influence decisions at different levels of govt. activity.
Sectional Groups (Classification by aim) - Protect the interests of a particular section of society - 'Interest' or 'Protectionist' - Normally exclusive membership, as only a section of society.
Cause Groups (Classification by aim) - Seek to promote a particular cause. - 'Promotional' - Broader membership - Do not stand to benefit from their particular cause - Can be split into 3 sub-categories - The classification of Pressure Groups in this way is difficult as many overlap into more than one category.
Attitude Cause Groups - Aim to change peoples' attitude on a particular issue. - World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - aim to change attitudes on nature and Greenpeace - aim to change attitudes on the environment
Political Cause Group - Aim to achieve certain political goals - Electoral Reform Society or Charter 88
Sectional Cause Groups - Aim to protect a section of society - NSPCC - works on behalf of children but members are not children.
Insider Group (Classification by status) - Better access to the government. - Core Insiders = strong two-way relationship with government over a broad range of issues (BMA or National Farmers Union NFU) - Specialist Insiders = granted insider status with a more narrow area of expertise (WWF or Age Concern) - Peripheral insiders = insider status but are rarely needed by govt. due to the nature of their cause/ aim
Drawbacks of insider groups - Can come at a large cost. - Have to organise background campaigns to avoid alienating the government. - Some groups = 'prisoner' or 'captive' as the government played a role in creating them --> Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) created as result of 2006 Equality Act.
Outsider groups - Potential insiders = those outside due to the nature of their cause in the current political climate (Electoral Reform Society will change depending on the outlook of govt.) - Outsiders by necessity= due to their actions or the nature of their aims. - Ideological outsiders = groups such as Amnesty International, which prefer to stay outside the system.
Criticisms of Grant's classification of PGs - Some groups are insider and outsider = operate tactically on two levels - Exaggerates the barriers to insider status = studies have suggested that Insider groups outnumber outsider. - Ignores the development of New Social Movements = very broad interests and are a mass protest, often lacking a clear leader. These movements are too fluid to be analysed. - Does not account for different policy making communities across the government = policy is developed differently in each department.
New Social Movements - Emerged in 1980s - Broadly based and fairly informal movement that emerges around a particular issue. - Mass movement and media campaigns --> technological advancements have aided the campaign.
Examples of New Social Movements - 1980s and Anti-Poll Tax Federation = 'Poll tax strike' and violent demonstrations. ---> highly successful and poll tax was abolished in 1991 - People's Fuel Lobby (2000) = alliance of farmers, motorists and road hauliers --> angry at high cost of fuel and blockaded refineries and fuel depots = govt. critical of tactics but reluctant to rise price of fuel. - Recent = Anti-Iraq War coalition and Make Poverty History
Umbrella or peak groups - brings together or speaks on behalf of a number of pressure groups, that share a common interest or campaign for associated causes. - Trade Union Congress - speaks on behalf of a number of individual trade unions.
Why are more people joining Pressure Groups? - Growth in the extent of govt. involvement = many people want better benefits and facilities. - Growing complexity of modern life = people belong to sub-groups - Surge of interest in single-issue politics = more interest in LGBT rights and animal cruelty, for example. - Development of a diverse, multi-ethnic society = need to protect their interests --> Muslim Council - Emergence of new issues = now have time to concern ourselves with a wider range of issues. - Improvements in communication - social media has meant that campaigns can be mobilised much easier.
Lobbying Government (CORE INSIDERS ONLY) - Key political decisions are made by Ministers, Civil Servants and Govt. Departments - Conversation with these policy makers = good chance of influence policy. - Especially if have access before decision is made public, as govt. would not have to change its mind. - Many groups will hire a professional lobby firm that will be able to organise meetings = very expensive. January 2018 - HET is successful in pursuing its cause as govt. announce spending on university education of holocaust.
Lobbying Parliament (CORE INSIDERS ONLY) 4 main ways: - Amending legislation- PGs try to influence MPs on standing committees - Private Members' Bill - PGs will approach selected MPs / more successful on moral or social issues. - Select Committees - examine an area of policy and PGs are invited to give evidence. - Backbench committees - PGs will lobby to convince them to support cause.
Working through a political party - Successful in getting party to adopt policy position - Anti-fox hunting groups = establish links with Labour
Use of legal system - Very expensive but can be very effective. - Judicial Review - govt. acted beyond its authority. - Rules violate EU law - Act of Parliament or act of public official = goes against HRA - Case raises public awareness of the issue This was used in January 2017 - Supreme Court ruled that parliament must vote to approve the triggering of Article 50 (Gina Miller).
Traditional Methods - Letter writing campaigns, petitions and public demonstrations. - 1 million protesters against Iraq War = did not end the war - Student protests against tuition fees - February 2018 = mass demonstration 'Save Our NHS'
The use of TV and Radio - Staging an event which attracts attention of news programme - Women's March 2017 - Member of PG being interviewed - Press Release - Programmes such as Panorama - Question Time
The use of newspapers - Article about PG - Interview by the paper - 'Opinion' column - Adverts
The use of publishing - Publish books and leaflets - Pamphlets for newspapers and magazines.
The use of advertising and internet - Commercial TV advert - NSPCC adverts - Billboard poster campaigns - Every PG has a website about its details and issues.
The use of opinion polls - Commission an opinion poll to prove their point of view. - Pro-hunt groups organised an opinion poll to prove that people opposed a ban.
The use of media campaigns. - Can be tied into adverts - NSPCC full stop to cruelty - Wristbands - a new strategy, most PGs has one. - Get celebrity support. - Live 8 - Band Aid
Direct action - Forms of political protest that go beyond traditional methods - Often degree of civil disobedience - Aim to attract local or national media coverage. - Growing in popularity as traditional methods are no longer successful.
Civil Disobedience - Refusing certain orders given by the state, without resorting to physical violence. - MLK and Ghandi - Anti-Poll Tax Federation - refusal to pay = Civil Disobedience. - Occupy London (2011-12) - camped outside St Pauls Cathedral in protest against failing capitalism. - Fathers4justice - Rising Up! - chained themselves to barriers at Heathrow airport, in protest of third runway.
Pressure Group and the EU - PGs turn to the EU when: 1) Faced with unsympathetic national government. 2) Sectional interest or cause is supranational. - Environmental groups will often focus on the EU --> makes sense to deal with international issues. - Improvement of water quality has made great progress through the EU. - Many British beaches have been improved after pressure from the EU.
The growing power of the EU - European Communities Act 1972 - European law takes precedence over UK law when the two are in conflict. - PGs can force national govt. through the EU. - Decisions must be made by Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) rather than unanimity. - PGs must build up greater support across Europe ---> own govt. can no longer block measures on their own.
Eurogroups - PG tried to campaign independently at EU level = unsuccessful - Therefore, like-minded groups form 'Eurogroups' = likely to have an impact. - Number of levels in which pressure can be applied. - National Farmers Union = permanent office in Brussels and member of COPA-COGECA - 100 member organisations and represents around 15 million farmers across the EU.
Role within pluralist democracy - PGs are healthy and natural part of political process. - Express views of people that are entitled to air their ideas. - Give expert opinion to the government - E.g Jeremy Hunt as Health Secretary. - Represent minorities - Prevent one group from becoming dominant as there is always a counter group. - Pluralist approach is that power should be dispersed across number of groups in society and no single group should be able to monopolise political resources.
Corporatism - PGs and government work closely together to achieve mutual benefitting goals. - 1960s and 1970s - TUC and Confederation of British Industry (CBI) formed close ties with the govt. - Consulted before legislation was released and shared responsibility of implementation = 'Tripartism' - 1961 NEDC = forum for discussing economic growth --> co-operate with TUs and employers over wages and prices = stimulate economic growth.
Thatcher 1979 - 1990 - Corporatism came to an end with the election of Thatcher 1979. - Undemocratic = too much power to Trade Unions and Business associations - Did not work = number of strikes and failing economy. - System was elitist = only certain groups would take part. - The left = weakened TUs as they had to compromise on their aims. - The right = too much, competition was stifled and the economy suffered as a consequence. - All TUs were excluded from decision process but not all PGs (only those who accepted the New Right approach)
Major 1990 - 1997 - TUC and CBI were consulted over economic policy. - BMA were consulted over health policy - Dorrell = first Conservative MP to speak to TUC in 20 years.
Relationship with government since 1997 - Blair did not want a return to situation in 1970s (New Labour) - Some returns to the 'Tripartite' system = Low Pay Commission - TUs and CBI were represented. - PGs have more access. - No evidence of change under Conservative government ---> unions have to strike to get action after cuts to public spending (NHS)
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