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In what ways are pressure groups similar political parties


A representative function
Seek public endorsement
Typically undemocratic organisations
Maybe part of a larger social movement


Defining pressure groups

what are the three characteristics of pressure groups


they seek to influence policy. Burke called them little platoons
They tend to have a narrow focus
They may combine many political ideologies


What other differences between pressure groups and political parties


Parties seek to gain office, pressure groups seek to influence those in office
Parties tend to have a broad catchment policy
Parties will use legalistic ways of campaigning
Pressure groups maybe Transnational
Some pressure groups such as Barclays, Tesco and Vodafone have purely economic interests
Membership in parties is declining


Functions/roles of pressure groups

What are the key functions of pressure groups


Representation typically of minorities

Agents of political participation 50% of UK citizens belong to one volunteer organisation or more

However cheque-book organisations such as the National trust do exist

Normally organise petitions marches lobbying or other such demonstration which are attractive to the young

Stimulates political education through high-profile celebrities websites and contemporary information from the government

Insiders particularly aid in policy formulation through policy networks

They further act to implement policy such as the NFU and defra implementing foot and mouth disease measures

Act as tension release outlet for the public seen as vital for peace. anti-iraq protests Anti G8 protests channel emotion into political action


Types of pressure group

Outline what sectional pressure group is


Interest, protectionist or functional groups preserving interests of a section of society – only provides best interests of members – trade unions. Such as a NUT and BMA. Includes peak organisations such as the CBI and TUC


Types of pressure group

Outline what a cause group is


Aka promotional groups, they seek broad membership and do not stand to benefit directly from the campaigns. Causes sought to advance on met many and various ranging from charity activities, reducing poverty, improving education, protecting human rights, protecting environment and for working peace in the world. Members are usually altruistic. When working in the international sphere they are called NGOs such as the Red Cross, Oxfam, and ActionAid


Types of pressure group

What does Fairclough distinguish between pressure groups


Attitude cause groups which work to change peoples attitudes towards the particular issue e.g. rising tide and climate change part of the climate chaos coalition
Political cause groups like Charter 88
Sectional cause groups like shelter which works for the vulnerable who are homeless


Types of pressure groups

What is wrong with the distinctions made by categorisation


Classifying biplanes ignores the fact that many groups campaign reports as well as representing the interests of their members. Teaching unions work to improve education generally as well as the sectional interests of their members
A single pressure group may include members would bisectional and promotional motivations. Heywood exemplifies this with third runway at Heathrow campaigners

Some pressure groups mask their sectional motivations by adopting the language of cause or promotional groups because the language of altruism is more popular with the general public.
Examples include the BMA and the Royal College of nursing who mask their interests as interests of patients and the NHS


How does McNaughton categorise these parties


McNaughton therefore refers to dual functional pressure groups which may be sectional and cause based. he gives the example of the countryside alliance which represents the interests of the hunting community and also fight for improvement of the quality of life in the countryside


Classification by status

What is an insider group. Give two examples.


Insider groups have better access to the government and are regularly consulted by them. They operate inside the decision making process. Four example the CBI, NFU and the BMA are core insiders.


List the three types of insider group


High profile insider groups that have a strong two-way relationship with policymakers over a range of issues. Such as the CBI, NUT and BMA. These groups generally have a permanent seat on government committees and can be called into Commons and the Lords select committees

Peripheral insiders are groups with a specific narrow focus. For example the canine defence league, WWF and the Howard’s league penal reform

Prisoner groups are dependent on government which may fund them or create them in the first place. For example quangos (quasi autonomous non-governmental organisations) like OFSTED, the National consumer council or the commission for racial equality. McNaughton calls these ultra insider groups


What are the restrictions of an insider group status


The pressure group must act responsibly. There confined by the methods they can use. Their objectives must be broadly compatible with those of the government and they must agree to abide by government decisions. There is a danger they may lose their independence. Some pressure groups prefer to remain as outsiders in order not to find their positions compromised.


Define an outsider group and give an example


Outside groups are pressure groups which do not enjoy the privilege of insider states which allows into easily influenced government’s decision. examples include fathers4justice, campaign For nuclear disarmament and the stop the War coalition


What are the three types of outsider group


Potential insiders – sometimes called threshold groups or aspiring insiders. These hope to gain insider status but have yet to achieve it. Heywood sites the countryside alliance

Outsiders by necessity - Are groups that lack the political knowledge or skills to become insider groups. Fair Clough cites fathers for justice as such a group

Ideological outsiders include groups like Amnesty International who prefer to remain outside the system. Heywood mentions the animal liberation front and the stop the War coalition


Issues surrounding misclassification. ( outside groups)


Groups may operate as both insiders and outsiders. Charter 88 was clearly outside the loop before 1997 and then assumed more influence as labour committed to legislation on human rights


New social movements/groups and the new politics

What is new politics and give some examples


New politics is the idea that the electorate is turning away from the established parties, pressure groups and representative processes towards more innovative and theatrical forms or protest politics politics.
This usually uses mass activism such as live aid and live eight and make poverty history. They use methods of modern communication to reach the electorate such as the Internet and mobile communications. NSMs are believed to have begun with the anti-poll tax federation in the 80s. The Federation organise demonstrations and a tax strike against thatcher’s policy of poll tax to replace breaks as a way of finding local services.


Pressure groups tactics

list the methods used by insider groups to influence policy


Lobbying – In the modern era, groups tend to use professional lobbyist firms and they use their contacts on the half of depression.

Parliamentary methods
Pressure groups seek leverage in the House of Lords due to the amending nature of the chamber. Issues such as tuition fees, the extensions of licensing hours and the foxhunting ban also vital amendments on behalf of pressure groups enacted by campaigning peers


How the outsider groups influence policy


Outsider groups may cultivate links between political parties with review of formulating policy. The most obvious way to influence parties history funding and donations. This is seen between the trade unions and the old Labour party. The political parties, elections and a referendum act 2000 introduced new rules on party fundraising and spending.
Legal action. This can be effective but expensive. Taking such action would work into ways. Firstly where are quarter-finals that the government has acted in a manner beyond its powers all authority (ultra vires)
Where going to the court raises public awareness of an issue, win or lose
Direct action campaigns
And increasingly popular formal pressure group action. Space on the premise that direct and visible protests, involving illegal methods of violence, may offer the best opportunity of success because they make politicians take notice and they brought in public support. An example would be fuel protests in the year 2000.


Mobilising public opinion


Outsider groups and high-profile insider groups May engage in public campaign. The purpose of Such strategies is to influence government indirectly by pushing certain issues at the political agenda. Governments May then be forced to act fearing dire consequences if they do not. This is the approach adopted by the chartists in the 19th century and by CND in the 20th. Public opinion campaigning Is designed Larchlea to attract the media. Some groups are more concerned to target their message to the so-called chattering classes. These are the opinion formers and they have the influence dissuade ministers, MPs and civil servants. McNaughton refers to the way that the help the ages and age concern used the increasingly significant grey vote in the run-up to the 2005 election.


What are the factors affecting the success of a pressure group


There are six factors

Wealth. This explains the power of business groups such as Tesco’s, Barclays, ICI, Sainsburys, BT, Vodafone, Shell, BP and Bae Systems

Size. Pluralist theorists who believe that pressure groups power is democratically based, see advantages in size (human resources). Large groups can claim to represent public opinion and out of the end of the day, then members can have an electron impact. Groups such as the RS PB, consumers Association and NSPCC all have memberships of over one million.

Organisation and leadership. Allows the group to mobilise the resources effectively and to take concerted action. This suggests that interest groups are more powerful than cause groups. Good leadership also bring some advantages:
Acute critical skills, contacts, developed media skills, a high public profile. Examples include Bob Geldof Bono Jamie Oliver

The views of the government. Groups are far more likely to succeed when the government is broadly sympathetic towards their names or goals groups such as liberty and Charter 88 have struggled against the background of recent governments wanting to focus on one order and asylum seekers

Public support. Group says enjoy high levels of support have greater political influence. The success of the snowdrop campaign was influenced by outraged following the dumpling massacre. The People’s fuel lobby similarly enjoyed high membership.

Opposition groups. It is often the case that were pretty good faith opposition from arrival group as you can have an impact on the success.


Outline the relationship between pressure groups and the European Union


Pressure groups turn to the EU when:
The national government is unsympathetic to their cause
or sectional interest is supra-national


Why do the environmental groups have good reasons to focus on Europe


Environmental issues do not respect national boundaries
The EU is already committed to environmental protection
The EU is growing in importance
Euro groups of forming more rapidly
The growing influence of the European Parliament has led to more lobbying Strasbourg. There are no there are now over 700 eurogroups

The NF you has an office in Brussels and is also a member of the COPA-COGECA umbrella organisation


What would a pressure group enjoy from a pluralist democracy


Knowledge flows freely
People are effectively represented
Government is accountable
People can participate in the political process
Rights and interests are taking into account
The rule of law operates and there is a free and fair election.


What are the democratic features of pressure groups


They help educate the public
They represent our interests
Encourage political activism
They ensure the views of the minorities are listen to and the counter to JS mills fear of the tyranny by the majority


How are pressure groups undemocratic


They have a disproportionate influence by virtue of their strategic place in society
Some drinks with well have great influence on others. Charities are forced to rely on handouts from the public and the lottery
Faced with large numbers back and of course government sometimes back down. The hunting bill was watered down in the face of opposition from the countryside alliance.
Inside status gives advantages over outsider groups
Some groups are internally more democratic
Key decisions are not always taken by the membership. grant claims for example that Greenpeace is authoritarian hierarchal and allows little democratic control


How are pressure groups growing influence


More astute awareness and political activism given by experience
Increasing importance of the EU
The impact of devolution
The growing importance of courts


Why might pressure groups be in decline


Tripartite government The decline of corporatism

Confusion over membership and cheque-book members


Are pressure groups good the democracy? answer the reasons why they are


They striven representation by articulating views which might otherwise be ignored
They stimulate discussion and educate
They extend participation
They help to limit the government
They help uphold political stability
They are natural features of any system of government
They enable used to be articulated between collections
Both moderate and extreme views
They are way of showing the strength of peoples opinions


Why might pressure groups be bad for democracy


They strengthen the wealthy voice
David resistive use of those with a narrow self-interest not in the majority
They are Unaccountable and undemocratic
They undermine the parliamentary democracy by ignoring the representative process
They make society more difficult to govern (hyperpluralism)
The quality of participation is poor
They favour the middle class
The index can be wholly disproportionate to that size
They don’t educate the public, merely mislead