Pressure Groups The Politics of Persuasion and Influence

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Pressure Groups The Politics of Persuasion and Influence Slide 2 Introduction Waves of interest Samuel Beer S.E. Finer 1958 anonymous empire Wyn Grant 2005 Overall theme: groups central to policy process Slide 3 Additional Reading Wyn Grant (2005) Pressure Politics: A Politics of Collective Consumption, Parliamentary Affairs, Vol. 58, No.2, pp.366- 379. Slide 4 Structure of Lectures Defining pressure groups Categorising pressure groups Their functions Why do govts listen to groups? How do groups influence? (strategies) Groups and Democracy Slide 5 Definition (1) Organisations trying to influence the policy of public bodies in their own chosen direction; though (unlike political parties) never themselves prepared to undertake the direct government of the country (Finer 1966). Slide 6 Definition (2) A pressure group is an organisation which seeks as one of its functions to influence the formulation and implementation of public policy (Grant 1989). Slide 7 Other terms Jordan and Richardson 1987 GROUP Finer LOBBY Marsh INTEREST GROUPS Slide 8 Different from Parties Do not seek to govern Seek to influence public policy on a restricted range of issues (groups = policy specialists) Slide 9 Categories: Interest and Cause INTEREST GROUPSCAUSE GROUPS Membership restricted Membership open Protect members interestsFurther interests of others Examples: CBI, BMA, NFUExamples: CPAG, RSPCA Also known as sectionalAlso known as attitude or promotional groups Slide 10 Functions of Pressure Groups 1. Representation 2. Participation 3. Education 4. Setting the Political Agenda/Policy Formation 5. Programme Monitoring Slide 11 Why Do Govts Listen to Groups? Members Information Implementation Power Financial Muscle Slide 12 Implementation S/he who implements decides Pressman and Wildavsky 1973 Implementation Slide 13 How Groups Influence: Insiders and Outsiders Insider Strategy = low-profile, responsible Outsider Strategy = high profile, media orientated Thresholder Strategy = pursue a mixture of 'outside' and 'inside' strategies' Slide 14 Types of insiders and outsiders INSIDER STATUS Core Insider Group Specialist Insider Group Peripheral Insider Group OUTSIDER STATUS Outsider Group by Ideology or Goal Outsider Group by Choice Slide 15 Groups and Democracy Pluralism (Dahl, Lindblom, Truman) Elitism Neo-pluralism See Jordan and Maloney Slide 16 Pluralism Groups key linkage between people and govt Groups compete No one group dominant Group resources substitutable Rough approximation of public interest Slide 17 Elitism Real power held by few groups Proliferation of groups proves nothing about real power Power concentrated/ unequally distributed Groups with power=large corporations Other groups can win small battles, but corporate elites almost always win Slide 18 Neo-Pluralism Power of business acknowledged So, pressure group system imperfect But pressure group system still defended as means of creating good public policy