Interest Groups When controversy erupted over whether to keep both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts as single-sex organizations, representatives from both groups exercised a form of lobbying — they testified before Congress at hearings on the issue. So, the election is over. How can the average American remain involved in politics without waiting for the next election? One chief means of influencing the American government is by joining an interest group — an organization that pressures elected officials to enact legislation favorable to its causes.
Bring fact-checked results to the top of your browser search. Types of interests and interest groups Interests and interest groups in all types of political systems can be placed broadly in five categories: Economic interest groups are ubiquitous and the most prominent in all countries.
There are literally thousands of them with offices in national capitals from London to Ottawa to New Delhi to Canberra. There are several Interest group kinds of economic interests: Cause groups are those that represent a segment of society but whose primary purpose is noneconomic and usually focused on promoting a particular cause or value.
This category is wide-ranging, including churches and religious organizations e. Some cause groups are single-issue groups, focusing very narrowly on their issue to the exclusion of all others—such as those favouring or opposing abortion rights or foxhunting—though most cause groups are more broadly based.
Whereas economic interests and most cause groups benefit a narrow constituencypublic interest groups promote issues of general public concern e.
Many public interest groups operate in a single country e. Others, such as the Interest group Clubwhich has chapters in the United States and Canada, may operate in only a few countries.
Increasingly, however, many public interest groups have a much broader international presence, with activities in many countries e. Private and public institutional interests constitute another important category. These are not membership groups hence, they are termed interests as opposed to interest groups but private organizations such as businesses or public entities such as government departments.
However, similar to interest groups, they attempt to affect public policy in their favour.
Private institutional interests include think tanks such as the Brookings Institution in the United States and the Adam Smith Institute in the United Kingdom; private universities; and various forms of news media, particularly newspapers, that advocate on behalf of a particular issue or philosophy.
But by far the largest component of this category is government in its many forms. At the national level, government agencies, such as the British Department for EnvironmentFood and Rural Affairs, lobby on their own behalf to secure funding or to prioritize certain issues; at the regional level, public universities lobby the appropriate government e.
At the international level, the United Nations may lobby its members to pay their outstanding contributions to the organization or to carry out Security Council resolutions.
Governmental institutional interests are often the most important interests in authoritarian regimes, where private interest groups are severely restricted or banned.
Interest group definition, a group of people drawn or acting together in support of a common interest or to voice a common concern: Political interest groups seek to influence legislation. See more. a group of persons having a common identifying interest that often provides a basis for action. Interest group: Interest group, any association of individuals or organizations that attempts to influence public policy in favor of its shared concerns.
In communist countries both before and since the fall of the Soviet Union and its satellites in eastern Europesuch governmental interests have included economic planning and agricultural agencies and the secret police. In some Muslim countries e.
Although formally organized associations play a predominant role in traditional lobbying efforts, non-associational groups and interests often have an important influence. Such interests lack a formal organization or permanent structure. They include spontaneous protest movements formed in reaction to a particular policy or event and informal groups of citizens and officials of public or private organizations.
For example, French farmers have sometimes held up traffic in Paris to protest government agricultural policy. Political systems at different levels of development and with different types of regimes manifest different combinations and varying ranges of these five types of interest groups.
In western Europe, Canada, the United States, and Japan, for example, each of the five types of interests are represented in large numbers and have developed sophisticated strategies and tactics.
In developing countries and in those with authoritarian regimes, there is a much narrower range of economic groups, very few—if any—public interest and cause groups, and some government interests.
In these regimes, informal interests are generally the most important and the most numerous. Common characteristics and the importance of interest groups Most interest groups are not formed for political purposes.
They usually develop to promote programs and disseminate information to enhance the professional, business, social, or avocational interests of their members.
Much of this activity is nonpolitical, as when the American Association of University Professors AAUP provides low-cost life insurance for its members or when the American Automobile Association negotiates discounts with service providers for its members.
But many such interest groups enter the political arena when they believe there is no other way to protect their interests or because they want to secure government funding.
In their nonpolitical role, interest groups may have several functions, but, when they become enmeshed in the political sphere, they have one overriding goal: In the political realm, interest groups perform important functions, particularly in a democracy but also in an authoritarian regime. These include aggregating and representing the interests of groups of individuals in a way that a single individual would not be able to do, helping to facilitate government by providing policy makers with information that is essential to making laws, and educating their members on issues and perhaps giving them political experience for entering politics.
In addition to providing this political experience, groups sometimes actively recruit candidates for public office, with the hope that once elected these individuals will support their cause.
Interest groups in most democracies are also a source of financial support for election campaigns. In western Europe, campaign funding is provided by many interest groups, particularly trade unions for social democratic parties as in Sweden and Germany.
Mass parties in authoritarian regimes also often rely on interest groups for support. In addition to financial resources, members of interest groups are important resources for grassroots campaigning, such as operating telephone banks to call prospective voters, canvassing neighbourhoods door-to-door, and organizing get-out-the-vote efforts on election day.So, the election is over.
How can the average American remain involved in politics without waiting for the next election? One chief means of influencing the American government is by joining an interest group — an organization that pressures elected officials to enact legislation favorable to its causes.
Types of Interest Groups. Interest group: Interest group, any association of individuals or organizations that attempts to influence public policy in favor of its shared concerns. a group of persons having a common identifying interest that often provides a basis for action.
An interest group (also called an advocacy group, lobbying group, pressure group, or special interest) is a group, however loosely or tightly organized, that is determined to encourage or prevent changes in public policy without trying to be elected.
The textbook used in class defines this as "An organization of people with shared ideas and . Interest group, also called special interest group or pressure group, any association of individuals or organizations, usually formally organized, that, on the basis of one or more shared concerns, attempts to influence public policy in its favour.
All interest groups share a desire to affect. a group of persons having a common identifying interest that often provides a basis for action.