Pressure Group Questions

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Pressure Groups and Protest Movements Exam Papers
January 2011
a) Explain what the term "direct action" means (5)
Direct action aims to cause disruption or inconvenience e.g. strikes, blockades, boycotts
and sit-ins. Non-violent forms of direct action is often called civil disobedience, for
example Greenham's Common Women's Peace Camp in the 1980's and Brian Haw's 5 year
anti-war vigil outside parliament. Violent examples include Stop the Huntingdon Animal
Cruelty where campaigners went against the Huntingdon Life Science institute in
Cambridge, damaging staff's property and harassing them.
b) Why are insider groups seen to have more influence than outsider groups? (10)
An outsider/insider distinction of a pressure group is based on the group's
relationship with the government. Insider groups have more access to policy
makers, they are low profile, have mainstream goals and stronger leadership. An
outsider group has no access to policy makers, they are high profile, may have
radical goals and have strong grass roots. Hence, it can be seen as more
influential to be an insider group as there is no need to lobby with parliament
as there is already a direct link. Insider groups have the ability to access policy
makers without the need of employing a lobbyist agency which an outsider group
would have to do, hence insider groups can get right to the route of the legislation
that they want to influence. For example, the British Medical Association can
advice the government directly upon issues of smoking, whereas outsider pressure
groups such as Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) would have to take time to
lobby MP's to gain access to the issue or legislation.
Another way in which insider groups may seem more influential than outsider groups
as insider groups are presented to have more "credibility" as it mentions in the
extract. The government recognises their worth of information and can rely on
their information to be unbiased and based on reliable sources. This is can be
contrasted to the information which an outsider pressure group may provide, as
they are seen as having more radical goals when it comes to influencing government
legislation; it would be hard to rely on their information as it can be seen as biased
against their telos. Groups such as RSPCA will be seen as more reliable and unbiased
for legislation on dog crime than the information provided by the Animal Liberation
Front, simply because of their previous illegal action and the reputation of the
group.
c) "Pressure groups are a vital part of democracy in the UK because they ensure that all
citizens have a political voice." Discuss (25)

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Vital for Democracy:
Pressure groups occur naturally under any system or government. People have a
natural desire to unite in protection of their own interests or in advancing a
particular cause.
Pressure groups allow people to organise and articulate their views between
elections
Groups provide an additional avenue for participation, at a time when some other
more traditional forms (e.g.…read more

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Are groups "educating" or "misleading" the government and the broader public?
Though most cause groups really do believe in what they are saying, this does not
mean that the information that they provide is wholly free of bias. Groups can use
their access to government to distort the evidence base upon which policy is
founded.
June 2011
a) explain what is meant by "cause groups" used in the extract.
Pressure groups which are cause groups seek a particular cause.…read more

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However, this is a system which aims to suite all so pressure
groups that are using illegal methods to increase the volume of their political voice
conflicts with the voice of the "common good" of the government which is aiming to
protect the benefit of all, including the minorities.
c) The most successful pressure groups still tend to focus on lobbying at Westminster
Parliament, despite the availability of other access points.…read more

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Lobbying doesn't necessarily mean that only outsider groups have to do it, competing
insider groups still have to lobby with government in order to get their voice heard
over issues such as health, business, education and the economy. This can be seen
especially in the government's work with trade unions as there are so many trade unions
for one area - such as teaching where there is a total of 13 trade unions representing one
area.…read more

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