Pressure groups

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What is a pressure group?
An association that may be formal or informal whose purpose is to further the interests of a specific section of society or to promote a particular cause.
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What is the difference between a political party and a pressure group?
A pressure group can act under any government, political parties aim to win elections, political parties exert power through governing and political parties cover a range of issues whereas pressure groups focus on specific issues
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Can anyone join a political party?
Yes
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Can anyone join a pressure group?
No, some are sectional.
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Are pressure groups accountable to their members?
No not necessarily and many hold unelected positions
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Who are more inclined to use illegal methods to achieve goals- pressure groups or political parties?
Pressure groups
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What is an insider group?
One that is accepted and holds links with government, they often give expertise to government and
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Give an example of an insider group
The BMA, NFU, national trust and RSPCA
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What is an outsider group?
A group outside of the government, either wishes to work with government but hasn't achieved it yet or never wants to work with government
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Where does the funding for outsider groups come from?
Its members and supporters
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Give an example of an outsider group
ALF, Animal Aid, CND, Countryside Alliance and Fathers 4 Justice
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What is a sectional group?
Seeks to look after its own members and protect its own economic interests- its membership is closed
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Give an example of a sectional group
BMA, Law Society and NUT
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What is a promotional/ cause group?
Seeks to promote their specific view point with no economic self-interest- membership is closed
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Give examples of cause groups
Countryside alliance, CND, Animal Aid and Greenpeace
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Why are some groups insiders?
They might have information that government needs to help create policy, ministers need the help of groups if the policy is going to work, the aims of these groups are seen as reasonable, these are responsible and seen as representative of those ppl
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What percentage of farmers are members of the NFU?
90%
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Give reasons why some groups are outsiders?
Their aims and methods are seen as extreme and embarrassing, their issues aren't thought to be important, they might not be experts and there may be many other groups existing on the same issue
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Name a group that used to be a insider group but is now an outsider group
CND
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Name the eight functions of a pressure group
To influence policy, to represent minority opinion, to provide politics in-between elections, to provide expertise, to educate, to scrutinise government, assist citizens to gain redress of grievance and provide services to members
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Give an example of a pressure group that has influenced a government policy
The BMA and the smoking ban
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Give an example of a pressure group that represents minority opinion
Survival- for indigenous peoples
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Give an example of a pressure group that educates people about their cause?
CND
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Give an example of a pressure group that acts as a check on government
The Stop the War Coalition
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Name ways that pressure groups can exert power
Through ministers, direct action, parliament, public opinion and political parties
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Give examples of methods of direct action
Strikes, petitions, protests and violence
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What makes a pressure group successful?
Their insider or outsider status, whether they have the support of the public and media, their economic power and membership base, their ability to use sanctions, timing and the governments view of them
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What is success dependent on?
What the pressure group wants to achieve (their aims)
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What is an issue of being an insider group?
Your tactics and opportunities are limited
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When is the best time to launch a pressure group campaign?
Before an election
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What pressure group claims to have over 1 million members?
The RSPB
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What type of group has grown recently?
Casual groups
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What has happened to political parties which in turn has made pressure groups more popular?
Political parties have become less popular
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Why do some people argue that pressure groups are good for democracy?
They argue that they supplement democracy, increase political participation, create a better informed electorate and distribute power more widely
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Why do some people argue that pressure groups are bad for democracy?
Because they increase political inequality, exercise non-legitimate power, exert behind the scenes influence and promote the tyranny of minority
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How could pressure groups be argued to be corporatist?
Pressure groups are often backed by big private businesses and are thus influenced by them.
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What is the corporatist approach?
It is the incorporation of key economic groups into the processes of government, creating a partnership between government, business and labour.
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What is elitism?
This is where not all pressure groups are the same in power and status, some are more powerful and have better finances to support them
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What is pluralism?
Pluralism argue that good democracy should spread and s hare power equally among pressure groups. Decision are made through negotiations and pressure groups compete for government attention
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What are the conditions for pluralism?
Government is neutral and will listen to anyone, pressure groups are democratic and accountable to their members and there are no elite groups
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What are the arguments for the opinion that pressure groups are pluralist?
Pressure groups do compete for government attention, there exists a wide variety of different pressure groups, government does accept pressure groups in decision making, they enhance pluralist democracy by educating the public and government use them
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What are the arguments against the opinion that pressure groups are pluralist?
Government favours certain groups over others which makes them elitist, they can be related to insider/ outsider status, some have more economic power and thus more influence
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What is the difference between a political party and a pressure group?

Back

A pressure group can act under any government, political parties aim to win elections, political parties exert power through governing and political parties cover a range of issues whereas pressure groups focus on specific issues

Card 3

Front

Can anyone join a political party?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Can anyone join a pressure group?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Are pressure groups accountable to their members?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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