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Political Science 1101 Interest Groups Notes

Political Science 1101 Interest Groups Notes - Interest...

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Interest Groups The Logic of Lobbying - Place in System: We have a strong interest group system but weak political parties - Concerns: o Operating Outside the “public Interest” o Gridlock: too many interest groups leads to government inaction. Madison’s Solution - Institutional and Social Pluralism o National Diversity: race, economic etc. (many groups represent many people) o Constitutional Designs: very difficult for any single faction to dominate government because the government is spread out. (if you give people freedom factions are bound to spread out, but if government is spread out it is difficult for a faction to overcome them; split power hypothesis?) Positive Pluralism - Interest groups are valuable and essential parts of democratic politics o Group is essential bridge between individuals and government - The American political system is particularly conducive to pluralist politics. o Decentralized o Elected officials need to form broad-based coalitions - Public policy is the result of an equilibrium achieved between competing interests. Gov. is more of a referee watching the competing interests. Stipulations for Pluralism - Freedom to organize and participate allows the political process to balance competing interests o No single interest is dominant Countervailing Centers of Power (having two opposites) Corporations vs. Union Overlapping Group Membership: Americans in multiple groups. Need
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