Pressure Groups

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  • Created on: 13-12-17 20:00
what is a pressure group?
an organisation whose aim is to campaign for changes in the law , or for new legislation in specific areas and to influence decision makers
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does a pressure group seek political office itself?
no
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what are some examples of international pgs?
Amnesty International- helps women around the world, Greenpeace- helps raise awareness for protecting the environment and global warming
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what are some examples of national pgs?
League against cruel sports- bans anything that inflicts harm on animals such as foxhunting, Humanists UK- promotes atheist views in the UK
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what is an example of a local pg?
Life- takes a pro life stance on abortion and encourages the gov to do so
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what are the features of promotional pgs?
they seek to advance particular ideas or principles, membership is open to all and members are motivated by moral concerns
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what are some examples of promotional pgs?
Worldwide Fund for Nature, Amnesty International and Electoral Reform Society
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what are some features of sectional pgs?
they are concerned to protect or advance the interests of their members, limited membership to people in a particular occupation and members that are motivated by material self-interest
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what are some examples of sectional pgs?
British Medical Association, Confederation of British Industry and Trades Union Congress
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what is the main difference between insider and outsider pgs?
insider pgs are regularly consulted by the gov whereas outsider pgs are not
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what are some of the requirements that the gov expects of insider pgs?
to keep discussions with gov confidential, avoid disruptive tactics, show restraint and keep demands realistic
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what are some examples of insider pgs?
British Medical Association and the National Farmer's Union
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what are some examples of outsider pgs?
Father's for Justice and campaign for Nuclear Disarment
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what are social movements?
large, sometimes informal groupings of individuals or organisations that focus on specific social or political issues
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what is an example of a social movement?
Stop the War- a group of individuals who came together to oppose the UK's involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq
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what are the 3 terms of reference for pgs?
size isn't important (eg Jamie Oliver), variety of methods ( eg petitions, protesting) and media equals effectiveness (eg Sun newspaper)
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what are some of the advantages of pgs?
(HEIR) Huge membership, Expertise, Increase parliamentary awareness and Raise public awareness
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what are some of the disadvantages of pgs?
(POOL) Passionately held views, One sided, Opinions of small section, Little contact with parliament
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what is pluralism?
a theory of the distribution of political power that holds that power is widely and evenly dispersed in society, rather than concentrated in the hands of an elite or ruling class
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what is elitism?
a belief that a small minority of people dominate the economic elite and policy planning network of a country
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what is the pluralist view on pgs?
they believe that groups promote healthy debate and discussion and that they strengthen the democratic process
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what is the elitist view on pgs?
skeptical about the importance of pgs for democracy, believe that pgs are less than equal and that a few important groups will always dominate gov
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what are some examples of pgs in the news in the UK?
cycling UK (car dooring), Anti-Brexit march and RSPCA (CCTV cameras)
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are all sectional pgs purely self- interested?
no, many frequently work for a cause as well (eg BMA is a trade union for doctors but also aims to promote public health isssues, lead debates on treatments etc)
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why have trade unions traditionally been consulted more by Labour govs
they share Labour's ideology and contribute a large portion of Labour's funding
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what are peripheral insider pgs?
are only occasionally consulted by gov and so therefore have limited access
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what is a major problem with consulting pgs?
even if a group is consulted by the gov regularly, it may have limited influence if they fundamentally disagree (eg the NUT criticised Michael Gove's education reforms despite being consulted as part of the reform process)
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what are some of the functions of pgs?
give people a stronger voice (strength in numbers), help inform the gov on public views, allow people the opportunity to participate in democracy, represent specific sections of the public and educate the public about politically important issues
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what are the 2 main categories of methods used by pgs?
conventional methods and direct action
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what are some examples of conventional methods?
letter writing, petitioning and marches
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what are some examples of direct action?
blockading, holding illegal marches and intimidation
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why are conventional methods more likely to be successful than direct action?
because direct action is illegal whereas conventional methods aren't
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what is an example of petitioning?
members of the public petitioning in support of a second EU referendum
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what is an example of a march?
when 2 million people took part in a demonstration against a war in Iraq?
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what is an example of lobbying?
the Gurkha campaign of 2009 the successfully lobbied MPs to gain the right for Gurkha veterans to live in the UK
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what is an example of a blockade?
when Farmers for Action organised the boycott of a Morrison's distribution centre in protest at the price paid for milk in August 2015
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what is an example of a strike?
in July 2014 mass public sector strikes took place and disrupted a number of public services such as schools and hospitals in response to govs austerity measures
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why do some pgs use direct action?
publicity- instant media attention, difficult to ignore and frustration with the political status quo
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what are some of the disadvantages of direct action?
it's illegal, gov may become more determined not to listen and can cause public to have a negative view of the organisation
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what are some of the reasons that cause some pgs to be more successful than others?
how achievable their aims are, public support, funding, membership, type of membership, celebrity endorsement, methods used, media support and insider status
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how do pgs affect accountability?
they highlight important issues and add specialist advice/knowledge
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how do pgs affect equality?
represent minority groups, however wealthier pgs have more power so the pgs themselves aren't equal
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how do pgs affect participation?
they increase participation within the political world, however extreme pgs may decrease participation by putting people off
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why do pluralists believe that pgs are good for democracy?
allows people to participate in democracy at any one time, they allow different people to have their views heard by the gov and provides the gov with information and statistics that it might otherwise not discover
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why do elitists believe that pgs aren't good for democracy?
they are undemocratic as they allow those with the loudest voice to be heard, leaders of pgs are often middle class and don't provide a forum for the voices of the working class and pgs often suffer from poor internal democracy
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what is the New Right view of pgs and democracy?
this viewpoint is associated with Thatcher's Tory gov and this viewpoint states that pgs interfere with democracy by hampering elected govs, pgs focus on one particular issueto the exclusion of everything else and occasionally get their info wrong
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what is an example of a pg getting their information wrong?
in 1995 Greenpeace apologised for releasing inaccurate information about Brent Spar
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who do pgs try to influence?
the gov in power, civil servants members of parl, HoL, the law courts, political parties the media and public opinion
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what are some of the factors in the success of a pg?
size of membership, type of membership, solid finances, an active membership, charismatic leadership, salient campaign issues (issues that are in the public eye eg the Snowdrop Campaign), media interest, gov support and realistic demands
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what is some of the evidence for a decline in pgs importance?
the golden age of interest groups has passed (in the 1960s and 70s at the height of the trade unions), the end of corportationism (where the gov, employers and employees worked together to encourage economic growth), Thatcherism (hated trade unions)
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what is some of the evidence for an increase in pgs importance?
growth of cause pgs, direct action and protest movements, think-tanks, lobbying and cyber-activism
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what are some of the arguments that support the idea that pgs benefit democracy?
pluralism, participatory democracy, development of policy representation, keep the gov under scrutiny, influence policy making and promote the right of free association and expression
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what are some of the arguments that support the idea that pgs hinder democracy?
can be internally undemocratic, may not be inclusive, undermine democratically elected institutions, may encourage elitism and are open to corruption
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what is Douglas Hurd's famous quote on pgs?
referred to pgs as "serpents that strangle an efficient gov"
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

does a pressure group seek political office itself?

Back

no

Card 3

Front

what are some examples of international pgs?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

what are some examples of national pgs?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

what is an example of a local pg?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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