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Chapter 9 outline - Chapter 9 outline h Introduction...

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Chapter 9 outline h Introduction Pluralist theory of American politics holds that society's interests are most effectively represented through the efforts of groups. Sometimes special interests can wield too much power, wrongly prevailing over the general interest. Single-issue politics occurs when separate groups organized around nearly every conceivable policy issue press their demands and influence to the utmost, at whatever cost to the broader society. An interest group can be defined as a set of individuals who organize to promote a shared political interest. Also called a "faction" or "pressure group" or "special interest," an interest group is characterized by its formalized organization and by its pursuit of policy goals that stem from its members' shared interest. Interest groups promote public policies, encourage the political participation of their members, support candidates for public office and work to influence policymakers. Political parties are different from interest groups in addressing a broad range of issues in order to appeal to diverse blocs of voters. Parties exist to contest elections. They change their policy positions as the voters' preferences change; winning is their primary mission. Interest groups focus on more specific issues of immediate concern to their members and become involved in elections primarily to influence public policy, not to actually hold office. h The Interest-Group System Group politics is the politics of organization. Interests that are organized and have financial resources stand a good chance of having their views heard by policymakers. Poorly run or inadequately financed interests run the risk of being ignored. 1. Many interest groups function chiefly to protect or produce economic goods and services. Economic groups can offer prospective members private goods, which
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are the benefits the individual member. Economic interest groups include the following: a. Business groups concentrate their efforts on issues directly affecting business interests.
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