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Government Week 6 Notes

by: Andrea Montano

Government Week 6 Notes POLS 1336

Andrea Montano
GPA 3.918
US and Texas Const/Politics
Cyrus Contractor

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US and Texas Const/Politics
Cyrus Contractor
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Andrea Montano on Friday March 6, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 1336 at University of Houston taught by Cyrus Contractor in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 67 views. For similar materials see US and Texas Const/Politics in Political Science at University of Houston.


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Date Created: 03/06/15
Interest Groups I II III Defining Interest Groups Turnout in voting has declined but participation in Interest Groups has increased The freedom to organize the right to peaceably assemble and to petition is as fundamental as freedom of speech and freedom of press Distinguishing Interest Groups from Political parties gt Interest Groups Policy Specialists gt Political Parties Policy Generalists Theories of Interest Group Politics 3 Important Theories Visit old notes Pluralist Elite Hyperplural Pluralism and Group Theory Group theory of politics 1 Make a link from people to government 2 These groups compete for attention 3 Not one group is likely to become dominant Elites and Denial of Pluralism Real power is held by relatively few people key groups and institutions Government is run by a few big interests looking out for selves Hyperpluralism and Interest Group Liberalism All pressure group demands are legitimate and that job of government is to advance them all To appease every interest government agencies proliferate con icting regulations expand programs multiply and budget skyrockets What Makes An Interest Group Successful The Surprising Ineffectiveness of Large Groups Potential Group All who are potentially a part of the group because they have a common interest Actual Group Those in Potential Group who actually join Collective Good Something of value to everyone Like clear air clean water etc Free Rider Problem Some people don t do anything but still benefit This usually happens when potential members decide to just sit back Olson s law of large groups Some do the work and others don t Selective Benefits For members Example Discounted Travel Rates Intensity Mobilize a group through an issue they feel intense about Example Abortion is surrounded by morals the right to privacy and the right of the physician to practice his or her craft SingleIssue Groups Usually stubborn and narrowminded because they are focused on 1 issue only Financial Resources The ability to use them to get message out gives you more in uence Elite Theory Is it fair unfair Critics argue that money skews the system IV How Groups Shape Policy I Lobbying Electioneering and Litigation Lobbying Try to in uence and help members of Congress Electioneering Getting right people in office keeping them in office Give them monetary aid PACs give majority of funds for reelections Sometimes PACs give money to both candidates to make sure that they can get their way regardless of who wins Litigation Tactics and Strategies NAACP in Civil Rights used Lynda Brown to build the case Brown vs Board of Education to get what they wanted gt Amicus Curiae Briefs Friend of the Court Written arguments to court to support 1 side gt Class Action Lawsuits Enables a group of plaintiffs to get together Going Public Many interest groups find it important to shape a good image employing public relations techniques to present themselves in the most favorable manner The practice of interest groups appealing to the public for support has a long tradition in American Politics V Understanding Interest Groups Interest Groups and Democracy The problem of interest groups in America today remains much the same as James Madison defined it over 200 years ago Madison s solution was to create an open system in which many groups would be able to participate Groups with opposing interests would counterbalance each other Interest Groups and Scope of Government PACs strive to maintain special programs that benefit them which makes for a broader scope of government Presidents Carter and Reagan said that their efforts to make government smaller were frustrated by Interest Groups It also works the other way around More government results in more interest groups being formed


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