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Unformatted text preview: UNIT 21 PRESSURE GROUPS Structure 21.0 Objectives 2 1.1 Introduction 21.2 Meaning of Pressure Groi~ps 21.3 Role of Pressure Groups 2 1.4 Techniques of Pressure Groups 21.5 Pressure Groups and Political Parties 21.6 Types of Pressure Groups 21.7 Comparison of Indian and Western Pressure Groups 21.8 Let Us Sum Up 21.9 Some Useful Books 21.10 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises 21.0 OBJECTIVES After going through this unit, you should be able to: analyse the role of pressure groups in democratic politics; explain the types of pressure groups; and compare the Indian and Western pressure groups. 21.1 INTRODUCTION In democratic politics, pressure groups are organisations which attempt to influence tlie government. The International Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences describes tlie groups as representilig the interest of the sections into which a society is divided. With advanced speatio~i groups will be more numerous and speed. Such groups represent interest of various sections of society viz., farmers, labourers, government employees, businessmen, professio.nal people and even students. Pressure groups are also known as interest groups. 21.2 MEANING OF PRESSURE GROUPS Pressure groups are organised associations, unions or organisation of people having common interest. Their aim is to seek better conditions for their members through organised efforts. They try to influence tlie legislature, executive and other decision makers to have decisions made in their favour. According to V.O.Key, a striking feature of American politics is tlie extent to wliich political parties are supple~nented by private associations formed to influence public policy. Tliese organisations are co~n~nonly called pressure groups. David B.Truman defines an interest group as "a shared attitude group that makes certain claims upon the other groups in the society." One of the major trends in democratic political process is the increasing role of pressure groups. Herman Finer viewed that it is perhaps now an axiom of political science that, where political parties are weak in principles and organisation, the pressure groups will flourish; where pressure groups are strong, political parties will be feeble; and I'attcrns of Polilicnl Participation and Rcpresen tation where political parties are strong, pressure groups will be curbed. I n .the context o f the USA, the rigid nature o f its constitution, the doctrine o f separatio~i o f powers, difficulties of conveying the grievances o f t l ~ e people to the government, etc. contribute to tlie growth o f pressure groups in American politics. American pressure groups are not mucli influenced by the political parties whereas in Britain pressure groups implicitly or explicitly have attachment with political parties....
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- Spring '12