Pressure groups

Maya buxton-reca
Flashcards by Maya buxton-reca, updated more than 1 year ago
Maya buxton-reca
Created by Maya buxton-reca over 4 years ago
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What are pressure groups? Pressure groups are organisations which campaign for changes in the law or new legislation in specific areas. As such, they can have a strong influence on public opinion and voting behavior.
What is the reason behind pressure groups? Pressure groups allow people the opportunity to participate in democracy by being involved in social change without necessarily joining a political party. In some ways, pressure groups may be viewed as essential to democracy because they allow the free expression of opinion and the opportunity to influence governments. Because of this, pressure groups are not tolerated in non-democratic countries.
What are the different types of pressure groups? -cause or 'promotional' groups -interest or 'sectional' groups -insider groups -outsider groups
What is the definition of 'cause or promotional' groups? These have open membership from the public. They promote a cause, eg Friends of the Earth, which is concerned with protecting the environment.
What is the definition of 'interest or sectional' groups? These are open only to certain individuals, like the members of a trade union, eg the National Union of Journalists.
What is the definition of 'insider groups? These have close links with the government. They will give advice and will be consulted prior to legislation which may affect that group, eg the British Medical Association will be consulted on matters relating to health.
What is the definition of 'outsider' groups? These groups often take action of which the government disapproves. Organisations like Greenpeace often engage in civil disobedience or direct action in order to reinforce their point. Some outsider groups are also wealthy and use a great deal of publicity to attract people to promote their cause.
What is the effect of pressure groups in parliament? Pressure groups may also have influence inside Parliament if there is an MP who is a member of the group or is sympathetic to it. MPs with affiliations to pressure groups must declare an interest when speaking on behalf of the group. MPs may not receive payment for promoting the cause unless they declare it.
What do pressure groups have power over? ressure group power primarily stems from these five things: -Ministers and Civil Servants -Direct action -Public opinion -Parliament (lobbying) -Political parties
What is a 'social movement'? It is important to understand that Social Movements are Pressure Groups. A social movement lacks organisation and is used to describe larger societal forces, such as Women's Rights, Green, LGBT rights, and anti-Capitalist movements such as Occupy.
What are the limitations of classifying pressure groups as cause/sectional or insider/outsider? Sectional groups frequently work for a cause as well, so they are not purely self-interested. For example, the BMA is a trade union for doctors, but it is also a professional association which aims to promote public health issues and lead debates on new treatments and types of healthcare.
Why do groups use direct action? There are many reasons for this, some of which do not apply to all groups: achieves instant media attention and cheap publicity allows new groups to make a name for themselves disenchantment with traditional campaigning methods, which are seen as ineffective frustration with the political status quo and a desire to force a radical change
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