chapter 7 - Chapter 7 INTEREST GROUPS INTEREST AND...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 7 INTEREST GROUPS INTEREST AND CORPORATIONS CORPORATIONS 1 Lobbying for China The president makes a decision each year about the The most favored nation (MFN) status of a particular most nation, which Congress can override by a two-thirds vote. vote. Certain nations must seek most favored status to Certain avoid extremely high tariffs and other restrictions on their products. their While presidential determination about China’s trade While status prevailed for the past 16 years, the debate in Congress has intensified. Congress 2 The Power of Interest Groups in the The American Political System American President Clinton succeeded in the face of the political President coalition that developed in 1997 to oppose granting MFN to China. to The determination of trade policy toward China is similar The to how many federal government policies are determined. to The opening vignette in the text illustrates the importance The of interest groups and corporations in shaping what government does in the United States. government 3 Interest Groups in a Democratic Interest Society Society Roles of interest groups: Roles interest Interest groups are private organizations Interest that try to shape public policy. that Interest groups try to influence the Interest behavior of political decision makers. behavior 4 The Evils of Factions The American public has traditionally viewed The special-interest groups as narrowly selfspecial-interest interested. James Madison warned of the dangers and divisiveness of factions (his term for interest factions groups) in The Federalist, No. 10. The The theme of the evils of factions has recurred The throughout American history. throughout 5 Interest Group Democracy: The Interest Pluralist Argument Pluralist Many political scientists believe that interest Many groups serve as important instruments to attain democracy and serve the public interest. democracy Pluralists believe the interest group system is democratic because people are free to join or to organize groups that reflect their own interests. organize 6 Interest Group Formation Escalation in the number of interest groups. Interest groups formation tied to the existence of Interest certain structural factors. structural When there are many interests. When the political culture supports the pursuit of When private interests. interests Diversity of interests in the United States. 7 Rules of the political game in the United Rules States encourage the formation of interest groups groups The First Amendment guarantees citizens basic rights that The First are essential to the ability of citizens to form organizations. are Government is organized in such a way that decision Government makers are relatively accessible to interest groups. accessible Because of federalism, checks and balances, and the Because separation of powers, there is no dominant center of decision making (i.e., political decentralization and fragmentation). fragmentation). 8 Interest Group Formation and the Interest Growth in Government Growth As government takes on more responsibilities, As it has a greater impact on facets of economic, social, and personal life. social, People, groups, and organizations are People, increasingly affected by the actions of government. government. 9 Disturbance Theory of Interest Disturbance Group Formation Group The proliferation of interests does not seem to lead to the The formation of groups unless these interests are threatened in some way. in The disturbance theory is illustrated by the success of the The Christian Coalition which was created at a time when Christian many evangelical Christians felt threatened by family breakdown, an increase in the number of abortions, and the sexual revolution. the 10 Incentives Some social scientists argue that people do not Some form groups when their common interests are threatened unless the group can give back some selective, material benefit to them. selective, A selective, material benefit is a tangible benefit that is available to members but not to non-members. non-members. 11 The Free-Rider Problem If someone can get the benefit without joining the group If (known as a free-rider), then there may be no purpose in free-rider), joining. joining. The free-rider problem tends to occur when a group is The free-rider interested in some collective good that benefits everyone collective hat and not just members. and There has been a proliferation of public interest and There ideological groups, which suggests purposes or incentives ideological which other than material and selective incentives. other 12 What Interests Are Represented? Interest groups may be classified by the type of Interest interest they represent. interest Public interests are interests that are connected in Public one way or another to the general welfare of the community. community. Private interests are associated with benefits for some fraction (minoritarian) of the community. fraction 13 Private Interest Groups Producer groups Professional groups Unions 14 Public Interest Groups Public interest groups are sometimes called citizens’ groups. groups They try to get government to do things that will benefit They the general public rather than the direct material interests general of their own members. of There has been substantial growth in the number and There influence of public interest groups since the late 1960s. influence Public-interest groups generally do not use material incentives. incentives. 15 What Interest Groups Do Interest groups are composed of people with Interest common goals or interests who try to convey the views of some sector of society and to influence influence government on their behalf. government The two basic types of interest group activity are The the inside game and the outside game. game game 16 The Inside Game The inside game involves direct contact of the The inside interest group representative and government officials. officials. The politics of insiders, of the old-boy network, of The one-on-one persuasion in which a skilled lobbyist tries to persuade a decision maker to accept the point of view of the interest group view Lobbying Congress Lobbying the executive branch Lobbying the courts 17 The Outside Game The outside game is an indirect form of The outside influence that involves interest group efforts influence to mobilize public opinion, voters, and important contributors. important Mobilizing membership Organizing the district Shaping public opinion Involvement in campaigns and elections 18 The Interest Group System and The Democracy Democracy This section of the textbook looks at possible This inequalities in the interest group system and evaluates their effects. their Representational inequalities Resource inequalities Access inequality Capture Interest group liberalism Iron triangles, or subgovernments Issue networks 19 The special place of business corporations Curing the Mischief of Factions James Madison was thinking primarily about the James tyranny of majority factions when he referred to tyranny the “mischief of factions.” the We now know that the politics of faction is We politics usually the province of narrow and privileged interests rather than majorities. interests This creates problems with respect for This democracy. democracy 20 Constraints on the Activities of Constraints Interest Groups Interest Tools in the efforts to solve some of the Tools problems of factions problems Disclosure Regulation Control 21 Reactions to Efforts at Reform Many worry that these reforms do not get to the heart Many of the problem. of Some political scientists have suggested that we focus Some our efforts on strengthening institutions of majoritarian democracy such as political parties, the majoritarian presidency, and Congress. presidency, Efforts to reform the interest group system may be Efforts frustrated by the inescapable fact that highly unequal resources eventually will find their way into our political life. political 22 ...
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This note was uploaded on 12/21/2010 for the course POLITICAL 1 taught by Professor Melvinaaron during the Fall '08 term at Los Angeles City College.

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