Pressure groups

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Define pressure group
Groups of like-minded individuals who campaign for their collective interests. Don't stand for election but seek to influence those who do.
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Pressure group roles: Participation
Encourage and enable citizens to get involved in the political process, provide people with an avenue for non-electoral participation
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Pressure group roles:Representation
represent their members sectional interests
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Pressure group roles: Education
act as a source of specialist knowledge.They help with avoiding mistakes and unnecessary confrontation. They serve to educate the broader public raising awareness of the chosen interest.
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Sectional Groups
membership is exclusive as it is restricted to a certain section of society (NUT)
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Cause groups
Seek a broader membership and do not necessarily stand to benefit themselves (NSPCC)
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Cause groups sub sections: Attitude cause groups
Aim to change peoples attitudes o a particular issue (greenpeace)
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Cause groups sub sections:Political cause goups
Aim to achieve certain political goals (Charter 88)
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Cause groups sub sections: Sectional Cause groups
aim to protect a section of society (NSPCC)
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Insider groups
These group have better access to government
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Outsider groups
Outsider groups are largely excluded from political consultation and contact.
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Insider group: Core
Have a strong two way relationship with policy makers over a broad range of issues (NFU)
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Insider group:Specialist
Those who have knowledge on a certain area (WWF)
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Insider group: Peripheral
Those who have insidr status but are only rarely needed due to their area of expertise (The dog trust)
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Outsider groups: Potential
Outside due to the nature of heir cause or inexperience (Charter 88)
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Outsider groups: By necessity
Tjose who are unlikely to achieve high status and must work outside (Fathers4Justice)
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Outsider groups: Ideological
Groups who prefer to remain outside the system (Amnesty International)
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What are access points?
The points within a political sysstem at which pressure groups and other interested parties can exert pressure on those who hold political power
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What is lobbying?
It can take many forms, in some cases it is simply writing a letter to a person who hs power of the issue they want resolving. Now it is more common for pressure groups to pay professional lobbyists to use their contacts on behalf of the group
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Lobbying:good or bad?
It can be seen as a good thing because it can allow people to get their issue or view spoken about but it can be seen as bad because it means that pressure groups with more funding are more likely to get their issues spoken about.
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What is Direct Action?
A political action outside the constitutional and legal framework. It means that pressure groups will have direct protests, often including civil disobedience an illegality. Used by groups who feel that they don't have direct access to government.
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What are Politcal party networks?
The different kinds of relationship that can apply between government,pressure groups and the other player involved in policy making.
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What are policy communities?
Small,stable,consensual groupings of government officials and group leaders who work together to create policys. Issue networks are large,flexible and open networks of particular individuals, involve more people than policy communities. e.g NFU
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Define pluralism
The theory that political power in society does not lie with the electorate but is distributed between a wide number of groups this could be enhanced by access points.
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Card 2


Pressure group roles: Participation


Encourage and enable citizens to get involved in the political process, provide people with an avenue for non-electoral participation

Card 3


Pressure group roles:Representation


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Card 4


Pressure group roles: Education


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Card 5


Sectional Groups


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