Pressure Groups

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  • Pressure groups
    • They are part of society and therefore can act a channel between the govt and the people.
    • A PG is an organised group of people that aim to influence the policies or actions of govt.
    • Insider Groups
      • Insider groups are PGs that have a close relationship with the govt. They may sit in committees and help to formulate policy.
        • Examples: BMA, NFU, MENCAP.
      • Divided into 3 types: High profile, Low profile and Prisoner groups.
        • High Profile groups operate behind the scenes through mass media and public opinion campaigns. E.g BMA
        • Low profile groups concentrate on developing contacts with the govt and rarely seek to influence the wider public. E.g Howard League for Penal Reform.
        • Prisoner groups are dependent on the govt which may fund them or created them. E.g Quangos such as the Commission for Human Rights.
    • Outsider Groups
      • These have no relationship with the govt and try to exert influence direct action: public campaigns or mass media.
        • Examples: Fathers 4 Justice and UK Uncut.
        • Divided into 3 main types by Grant 1995: Potential insider, Outsider by necessity and Ideological outsider.
          • Potential insider groups aspire to be insider, but are not yet. E.g The Countryside Alliance.
          • Outsider by necessity groups lack the political knowledge and skills to become insider.
          • Ideological outsider groups have radical aims that incompatible with the aims of the govt. They prefer tactics of mass activism. E.g UK Uncut and The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).
        • Some PGs are outsider because they may be denied access so they will turn to public support such as Trade unions. Also some PGs may choose to be radical and may not want to be close with the govt.
    • Sectional Groups
      • These are groups based on the purpose of the group and represents a section of people in society.
      • These aim to protect or advance the interests of their members.
      • Membership is limited and they are motivated by self interest.
      • Examples: Trade unions, business corporations, trade association. E.g The BMA, The Law Society and the NUT.
      • Peak Groups
        • These coordinates different pressure groups in the same area of interest and work closely with the govt.
          • Examples: The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
    • Promotional groups
      • These are based on shared attitudes or values rather than the common interests of its members.
      • They seek to advance particular ideals or principals.
      • Membership is open to all and members are often motivated by moral or altruistic concerns.
      • Examples: Friends of the Earth, Amnesty International and RSPB
      • They are often called non governmental organisations (NGOs) in global politics.
        • Examples: Greenpeace and the Red Cross.


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