How significant are Pressure Groups & Think Tanks?



  • Representative
  • Educative
  • Democratic
  • Participation

The two main theories of pressure groups are elitism and pluralism

  • Elitist - Pressure groups can enhance power of the rich, giving more power to the rich. Insider groups concentrate power because they have more money
  • Pluralist - Decentralized power

Ways in which pressure groups are NOT democratic:

  • Direct action especially if it is illegal, it can disrupt the lives of people
  • Trade Union had so many strikes, they used to be very powerful until Margaret Thatcher
  • They are unelected, they have to be legitimate and accountable but they aren't
  • Insider groups are particularly undemocratic

Arguments in which pressure are particularly democratic:

  • They scrutinize and keep an eye on government
  • They give a voice
  • Decentralise power
  • Easier to join and raise…


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