Lecture Notes - POLI 201 / Chapter 12 Professor Finocchiaro...

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POLI 201 / Chapter 12 Professor Finocchiaro 1 CHAPTER 12: Groups and Interests POLI 201: American National Government Interest Group Pluralism “By a faction I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” --James Madison, Federalist #10 James Madison’s Federalist #10 provides a basis for understanding the strengths and weaknesses of interest group politics in the United States. The Institution Principle Because “the latent Madison believed: Balancing the conflicting Because the latent causes of faction … are sown in the nature of man,” Madison argued that institutional arrangement must be erected to control the effects of factional politics. interests of different factions was the most reliable way to control the negative effects of factional politics. Increasing the number and variety of factions actually aided the pursuit of the public good.
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POLI 201 / Chapter 12 Professor Finocchiaro 2 Following Madison, mid- 20th century pluralists argued that interest group politics was a major strength of American government and society. Pluralism is the theory that all interests are and should be free to compete for influence in the government. The outcome of this competition is compromise and moderation. Following Madison, mid-20 th century pluralists argued that interest group politics was a major strength of American government and society. By the same token, critics of pluralism argued that these groups represented “special interests” and did not reflect the broader will of the people or the public good. Pluralists argued that interest
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This note was uploaded on 02/14/2011 for the course POLI 201 taught by Professor Briggs during the Fall '08 term at South Carolina.

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Lecture Notes - POLI 201 / Chapter 12 Professor Finocchiaro...

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