Ginsberg Chapter 8

Ginsberg Chapter 8 - GinsbergChapter8 InterestGroups...

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Ginsberg Chapter 8 Interest Groups  What are interest groups?  Groups of people who share an interest and apply pressure on government to address their  issues. Interest groups may serve geographic interests, but more often they serve an idea spread  throughout the population Give a political voice to groups, and get their issues on the national agenda How do they work? Often more tightly organized than the political parties. Paid for by dues, contributions, and economic activity Support the interest of members rather than the broad public Multiply the power and importance of citizens by giving them an avenue for collective action Try to influence government policy decisions Why are they important? Provide a balance between the state and the individual Focus the political power of individuals into the bigger power of a group Fill a gap not served by the political parties o Represent single issues or single ideas o Represent particular groups (religious, ethnic, professional) The “Evils of Faction” The framers were against political parties because they feared they would split the public, but  they favored interest groups Interest groups smaller and their goal is not to take over the government, but to influence the  government Pluralist theory  says that there are many sources of power and control besides the state. Pluralism  supports the idea that competition for power and influence is good. It accepts social diversity, multiple interests, and multiple points of view in politics and  government.  Pluralism emphasizes overlapping policies, social mobility, and the importance of interest  groups.   As multiple groups contend for power it helps keep government in check.  Competition between interest groups will produce balance and compromise.  1
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The competing interests serve to regulate each other so that no single group or interest will  have the ability to tyrannize the other groups.  Elite theory  states that a small minority of members of the economic elites and key policy  makers hold the most power, no matter what happens in elections.  Through positions in corporations or on corporate boards elites are able to influence  the policy making members of government They do this through financial support of politicians  Through financial support of think tanks  and through financial pressure "elites" are 
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This note was uploaded on 03/16/2011 for the course PLSC 2003 taught by Professor Diallo during the Spring '08 term at Arkansas.

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Ginsberg Chapter 8 - GinsbergChapter8 InterestGroups...

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