Special Interest Groups Essays

Economic interest groups are formed to protect the economic interest of its members.Trade organizations and labour unions are examples of groups formed by economic motivations.

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Basically, all groups regardless of whether they are motivated by economic, professional or public interest make use 4 major tools to achieve their goals: lobbying, electioneering, litigation and demonstrations.

However, the tools utilized by an interest group at any point in time depend largely on issues such as its financial capability, size of members, and its level of organization.

The elitist theory challenges the pluralist view, arguing not all groups are represented and the ones that are not represented equally.

It argues further that public policy is primarily influenced by a small elite group rather than by a wide array of interest groups or the general population.

Three primary theories address the role of interest groups in the United States.

The pluralist theory holds that enough interest groups should participate in the political process so that everyone’s interests get represented, whether or not individuals participate.Electioneering occurs when interest groups raise funds to sponsor their preferred candidate for a government position.The public Interest groups focus on issues that concern the general public such as social, health and environmental.Interest groups will continue to shape government policies.However, the tools they decide to utilize at any point in time depend largely on: their membership size, financial capacity and level of organization.Staging events that obtain press coverage (i.e., press conferences and protests) and writing letters to the editor are two common methods of using the media.Also, groups ask their members to engage in various direct lobbying activities (rather than the organization doing so itself), perhaps by e-mailing or calling their congresspersons.Activities include meeting with, calling, faxing, or writing government officials and staff as well as giving testimony or speaking at public meetings, submitting position papers, engaging in relevant lawsuits, and writing amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs—statements written by nonparticipants in a case that supports the legal argument made by one of the participants.Indirect lobbying seeks to influence government officials through a third party such as the media or a group’s members.They are usually properly funded, well organized and have permanent structures.As a result of this, to make their voices heard and to gain access to the government, they make use of certain strategies which include: lobbying policy makers, litigation, electioneering and demonstrations.


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