Chapter 5- Pressure Groups Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 5- Pressure Groups Deck (59):


Group of like minded individuals who come together on the basis of shared interests or commonly held cause in order to put pressure on policy makers at Westminster and beyond



A pressure group or protest movement that focuses on a single issue as opposed to a range of issues underpinned by broader set of guiding and principles or an ideology.Single-issue groups often disband once their main objective has been met


What group has exclusive membership and what does this mean?

Sectional groups and it means that they must meet certain requirements in order to qualify for group membership


What group is inclusive and what does this mean?

Cause groups are inclusive and they aim to establish a wide membership base which means that they do not place barriers on membership


Attitude Cause Groups

A group that seeks to change people's attitude on a particular issue


Political cause groups

A group that campaigns in pursuit of a cause that is essentially political in nature


Sectional cause groups

A group that represents a specific society that is distinct from its own membership


What writer subdivides groups according to their status and relationship with the government?

Wyn Grant


Core Insiders

Groups that work regularly with the government and are consulted regularly across a broad range of policy areas


Specialist insiders

Groups with which the government consults across only a narrow range of policies


Peripheral Insiders

Groups whose areas of expertise or interest are so narrow that the government would rarely consult them


Potential Insiders

Groups that may ultimately achieve insider status but are currently lacking in terms of support and/or experience. Government may be reluctant to grant such groups insider status because they regard them as lacking legitimacy


Outsiders by necessity

Groups that are forced to operate as outsider groups as a result of there being no realistic prospect of regular consultation with the government and this could be due to their core aims or chosen methods


What did Wyn Grant argue about insider-outsider group typology?

More appropriate to divide insider groups into 'high profile' insider groups and 'low profile insider groups' as well as 'captive' or 'prisoner' groups


High Profile insider groups

Court the media as well as working with the government behind the scenes


Low profile insider groups

Focus largely on establishing relationships behind the scenes


'Captive' or 'prisoner' groups

Groups that are dependent on the government either because they benefit from state funding or because the government played a part in their creation


What are the main roles of pressure groups?

- Educate
- Allow participation
- Representation


Explain how pressure groups educate citizens?

Act as a source of specialist knowledge which helps the government weigh up the merits and demerits of proposed policies.Helps them avoid costly mistakes and unnecessary conflict as well as making it more likely that government will be held to account


Explain how pressure groups enhance representation?

Aggregate and articulate common interests and concerns whereby contemporary political parties are being criticised for being a catch all election winning machines


What does Society for the Protection of Unborn Children do and how does it ensure representation?

Represent the interests of those who oppose abortion at a time when the three main UK parties seemed sympathetic to the availability of such practices


Explain how pressure groups encourage participation?

Avenue of participation between the give year gap for general elections. It ensures that the channels of communication remain open between elections also moderates extremist views.


How does the scope and extent of a group aims and objectives affect the method they use?

If the aims are local and limited they may not ever lobby Westminster. Broader-based environmental groups will, in contrast, need to work at local, national and supranational levels in order to achieve their core aims



John Kingdom defined lobbying as the "act of seeking the ear of a member of government"


What is litigation?

Taking legal action against a pressure group


What are the four levels that litigation works on?

- Court finds that the government has acted beyond its authority
- Rules appear to violate EU law
- Act of Parliament or action of a public official is deemed incompatible with the Human Rights Act (1998)
- Litigation raises public awareness of a particular issue irrespective of the outcome of the case


Why is direct action an increasingly popular form of pressure group action?

- conventional methods are flawed
- Direct methods, civil disobedience or illegality is more visible
- Gains media attention which raises public awareness and forces politicians to listen


Why do pressure groups adopt direct action?

Raise the profile of their chosen cause by attracting local or national media coverage


How has direct action gained popularity?

Groups that have adopted more conventional methods and failed in achieving their goals


Civil Disobedience

Act of refusing certain orders given by the state without resorting to physical violence


What do some people feel in regards to pressure groups and representative democracy?

That it undermines representative democracy as it is a single issue group


Umbrella group (or 'peak group')

A pressure group that brings together or speaks on behalf of a number of pressure groups that share a common interest or campaign in favour of associated causes


Example of an umbrella/peak group?

Trade union Congress (TUC) for example, is a peak group group speaking on behalf of a large number of individual trade unions


What's an example of an environmental umbrella group?

Plane Stupid founded by university graduates Richard George Graham Thompson and Joss Garman in 2005


How do pressure groups use media?

- Paid media and take out whole-page adverts in the national press
- Direct mail
- Produce and airing TV adverts


How did NSPCC use media?

TV advertising on its Full stop campaign which addresses violence against children


Why do pressure groups lobby the EU?

- faced with a national government that is unsympathetic to their cause
- Their sectional interest or cause is supranational


What is supranational?



What changes have groups such as surfers against sewage brought about?

- Beaches in England categorised as unfit for bathing due to sewage pollution, this has been improved under the pressure from EU
- Policy of awarding blue flags for clean beaches has the effect of raising the public profile of the EU


What Act allowed European law to take precedence over British Law when the two are in conflict?

European Communities Act 1972


What do the European Comissions view Eurogroups as?

A legitimate source of information


Why do core insider groups prefer not to publicise the extent of their influence?

They fear that they will alienate the government and lose their privileged status


What are the four variables that pressure group success is dependent upon?

- Group aims
- Group resources
- Group status
-Group methods


Practical achievability

Extent to which a group's main goals are achievable in practice \


What campaign has high achievability ?

The Gurkha Justice Campaign


[Gurkha Justice Campaign]
What was the aim?

Gain the right to live in the UK for all the Gurkhas who had served in the British Army prior to 1997


[Gurkha Justice Campaign]
How many people were directly affected?

10,000 and 15,000 former Gurkhas


[Gurkha Justice Campaign]
What would be the financial impact?

Entrant cost an average of £600-£700 per month in benefits


Public receptivity

Refers to the extent to which the general public are sympathetic to group aims


Who came up with the five stage "issue attention cycle"?

Anthony Downs


What are the five stages of the Anothy Downs' 'issue attention cycle'?

- pre-problem stage
- Alarmed discovery and euphoric enthusiasm
- Realising the cost of significant progress
- Gradual decline of intense public interest
- Post problem stage


Human resources

Size and quality of membership


Material resources

Money, equipment, offices etc


How has fathers4Justice benefitted from human resources?

The members were prepared to risk their health for their cause


Which celebrities have endorsed in campaigns?

- Joanna Lumley's support for the Gurkha Justice's campaign
- Jamie Oliver's involvement with "Feed Me Better" campaign


Representative democracy

A system under which citizens elect representatives who enact laws on their behalf once elected, they can legislate on their own accord


Liberal Democracy

A style of democracy incorporating free and fair elections, and a belief in the importance of certain key rights and responsibilities


Pluralist democracy

A system of government that encourages participation and allows for free and fair competition between competing interests


What did the former Conservative cabinet minister Douglas Hurd describe pressure groups as?

Serpents that strangle efficient government