Lecture 9 Interest Groups

Lecture 9 Interest Groups - Interest Groups PLSC 112...

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Interest Groups PLSC 112 Lecture 6 Highlights *What are interest groups? *How do they function? *Different types *Relationship to the political process The Promise of Interest Groups *The basic promise of interest groups is found in the First Amendment “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Political freedom means having the right to join with others to pursue shared interests. *Interest groups defined: a politically oriented group of persons who share common interests and make demands on others in society with respect to those interests. Interests Groups and American Government *How Interest Groups Form *Interest group: Organization of individuals sharing common objectives who actively attempt to influence policy-makers. - Raise public awareness: check public officials; provide information *Interest groups form in response to change: political economic, cultural, technological! *Financing, Incentives, Free-Rider problem Interest Group Goals *Interest groups have two basic objectives: *To pursue new positive benefits to promote the group’s interest *Keep current benefits that promote the group’s interest. Interests Groups and American Government (cont’d)
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*How Interest Groups Function in American Politics *Raise public awareness; check public officials; provide information *Pluralist Theory *Offer multiple Points of Access *How Do Interest Groups Differ From Political Parties? *Do Not Seek To Win Elections or Compete for Public Office *Policy Specialists, Not Generalists; More Tightly Organized Than Parties Theoretical Perspectives on the Formation of Interest Groups *Pluralist Theory *Interest groups form in reaction to problems created by particular social or economic events. *Exchange Theory *Interest groups form as a result of a deal – an exchange – between a group entrepreneur and an unorganized interest that may be underrepresented or not represented at all. *Niche Theory *Interest groups form in the political environment – just as in a biological environment – in relation to the carrying capacity to support interest groups that compete for the resources they need to survive.
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This note was uploaded on 02/12/2009 for the course PLSC 112 taught by Professor Sidlow during the Fall '08 term at Eastern Michigan University.

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Lecture 9 Interest Groups - Interest Groups PLSC 112...

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