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Political Science Chapter 13 Notes

by: Sierra Crumbaugh

Political Science Chapter 13 Notes POLI 201 001

Marketplace > University of South Carolina > Political Science > POLI 201 001 > Political Science Chapter 13 Notes
Sierra Crumbaugh

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These notes cover all of Chapter 13 of political science as well as any additional material covered by the professor during lecture.
American National Government
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sierra Crumbaugh on Thursday April 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLI 201 001 at University of South Carolina taught by Darmofal in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see American National Government in Political Science at University of South Carolina.


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Date Created: 04/28/16
Chapter  13 Thursday,  April  14,  210:41  AM The  Pull  and  Push  of   Groups  and  Interests Thursday,  April  14,  2016 • There  is  a  pull  and  a  push  organizing   political  activity  in  the  United  States ○ There  is  a  pull  from  government  to   collect  information  on  how   governmental  decisions  will  affect   various  constituencies ○ There  is  a  push  from  individuals   and  groups  seeking  to  gain  some   benefit • This  is  pluralism  at  work Groups  and  Pluralism Thursday,  April  14,  2016 • An  interest  group  is  an  organized   group  of  individuals  or  organizations   that  makes  policy-­‐related  appeals  to   government ○ Interest  groups  enhance   democracy  by  representing   individuals,  encouraging  political   participation,  and  educating  the   public ○ But  interest  groups  represent   the  private  interests  of  a  few,   not  the  public  interest • Madison's  answer  to  this  was  diversity • Pluralism  is  the  theory  that  all   interests  are  and  should  be  free  to   compete  for  influence  in  the   the  private  interests  of  a  few,   not  the  public  interest • Madison's  answer  to  this  was  diversity • Pluralism  is  the  theory  that  all   interests  are  and  should  be  free  to   compete  for  influence  in  the   government ○ As  long  as  all  groups  are  free  to   organize,  the  system  is  arguably   democratic,  as  individuals  will   join  groups  they  support  and   will  not  join  groups  they  oppose ○ Bigger  groups  will  have  power,   as  they  should • But  some  groups  organize  more  easily Organized  Interests  Are   Predominantly  Economic Thursday,  April  14,  2016 10:49  AM • Economic  interest  is  one  of  the  main   purposes  for  which  individuals  form   groups • Examples  of  groups  that  protect   economic  interests: ○ American  Farm  Bureau   Federation ○ AFL-­‐CIO ○ American  Medical  Association What  Do  Groups  Need?   Money,  Leadership,   Members Thursday,  April  14,  2016 • Groups  need  money  to  sustain  the   organization  and  to  fund  their  activities   (lobbying,  voter  education,  etc.) • Groups  with  access  and  organizational   discipline  are  more  successful Thursday,  April  14,  2016 • Groups  need  money  to  sustain  the   organization  and  to  fund  their  activities   (lobbying,  voter  education,  etc.) • Groups  with  access  and  organizational   discipline  are  more  successful • Groups  with  more  members  are  more   powerful.  AARP  is  powerful  because  it   represents  so  many  active  voters Group  Membership  Has   an  Upper-­‐Class  Bias Thursday,  April  14,  2016 • People  with  higher  incomes  and  higher   levels  of  education  are  more  likely  to   be  members  of  interest  groups • There  is  thus  an rclass  bias  in  the   interest-­‐group  system • The  bottom  rungs  of  the   socioeconomic  ladder  are  represented   by  some  groups,  but  political  parties  do   a  better  job  of  representing  these   interests Group  Activity  Reflects  the   Political  Environment Thursday,  April  14,  2016 • Periods  of  significant  change  or  social  and   economic  upheaval  usually  signal  a  burst   of  group  activity ○ Group  activity  grew  during  the  1880s   and  1890s  as  government  became   more  active  in  seeking  to  regulate   interstate  commerce ○ The  federal  government's  growth  in   the  1930s  led  to  another  burst  of   group  activity • There  are  thousands  of  groups  at  the   national,  state,  and  local  level The  federal  government's  growth  in   ○ the  1930s  led  to  another  burst  of   group  activity • There  are  thousands  of  groups  at  the   national,  state,  and  local  level Interest  Groups   Facilitate  Cooperation Thursday,  April  14,  2016 • Collections  of  individuals  might  have   common  goals  and  might  benefit  from   cooperation,  but  cooperation  is  not   easy • Individuals  may  not  see  their  common   goals  or  may  lack  individual  incentives   to  work  together Problems  of  Organization:   The  Prisoner's  Dilemma Tuesday,  April  19,  2016 10:06  AM • You  and  a  friend  have  committed  a   crime • The  police  have  arrested  both  of  you   and  have  placed  you  in  separate  rooms • The  police  think  they  have  enough   evidence  to  convict  you  both  of  a  lesser   crime • But  they  want  you  to  snitch  on  your   friend • Of  course,  they  have  offered  your  friend   the  same  deal The  Logic  of  Collective   Action The  Logic  of  Collective   Action Tuesday,  April  19,  2016 10:11  AM • In  The  Logic  of  Collectiv,  Mancur   Olsen  argues  that  individuals  organizing   into  groups  face  the  prisoner's  dilemma They  are  tempted  to  let  others  pay   ○ the  costs ○ No  individual  is  incentivized  to  work   for  the  collective  good ○ This  difficulty  is  most  severe  in  large   groups • Thus,  groups  of  individuals  who  share  an   interest  often  do  not  organize  to  pursue  it Collective  Action:  Selective   Benefits  as  a  Solution Tuesday,  April  19,  2016 10:14  AM • Selective  benefits  are  those  provided  only   to  group  members  to  entice  members  to   join  and  contribute. • Benefits  can  be: ○ Informational ○ Material Solidary ○ ○ Purposive • This  is  an  example  of  the  Institution   Principle  in  action Types  of  Selective   Benefits Types  of  Selective   Benefits Tuesday,  April  19,  2016 • Informational:  newsletters,   periodicals,  training  programs,   conferences,  and  other  information • Material:  goods  and  services • Solidarity:  friendship,  networking • Purposive:  accomplishments Political  Entrepreneurs   and  Groups Tuesday,  April  19,  2016 10:21  AM • Selective  benefits  will  not  organize  a   group  if  there  is  no  leadership  to  do  the   work • We  call  these  leaders  "political   entrepreneurs"  and  they  accrue  benefits   in  return  for  doing  the  work  of  organizing • These  entrepreneurs  are  a  complement   to  selective  benefits  in  overcoming   collective  action  problems How  do  Interest  Groups   Influence  Policy? Tuesday,  April  19,  2016 10:23  AM • Insider  strategies ○ Directly  influencing  decision  makers ○ Pursuing  advocacy  through  the  courts • Outsider  strategies ○ Educating  the  public ○ Campaigning  and  contributing  to  candidates • Many  groups  employ  a  mix  of  insider  and  outsider   ○ Directly  influencing  decision  makers ○ Pursuing  advocacy  through  the  courts • Outsider  strategies ○ Educating  the  public ○ Campaigning  and  contributing  to  candidates • Many  groups  employ  a  mix  of  insider  and  outsider   strategies Interest  Group  Influence:   Direct  Lobbying Tuesday,  April  19,  2016 10:26  AM • Lobbying  is  an  attempt  by  a  group  to  influence   the  policy  process  through  persuasion  of   government  officials • Billions  of  dollars  are  spent  on  lobbying  each   year • Lobbying  is  thought  of  negatively,  but  lobbyists   do  some  good: ○ Provide  information ○ Make  sure  group  concerns  are  heard Interest  Group  Influence:   Direct  Lobbying Tuesday,  April  19,  2016 10:30  AM • Lobbyists  also  seek  to  influence  other  parts  of   government  by ○ Lobbying  the  president ○ Lobbying  the  executive  branch • There  are  some  regulations  on  lobbying: ○ Groups  must  report  spending  on   lobbying ○ There  are  strict  limits  on  gifts  from   lobbyists ○ Lobbyists  must  register  with  the   Secretary  of  the  Senate  and  the  Clerk  of   the  House There  are  strict  limits  on  gifts  from   ○ lobbyists ○ Lobbyists  must  register  with  the   Secretary  of  the  Senate  and  the  Clerk  of   the  House Interest  Group  Influence:   Using  the  Courts Tuesday,  April  19,  2016 10:34  AM • Interest  groups  seek  to  influence  policy  through   the  courts  by ○ Bringing  suits  directly  on  behalf  of  their   group ○ Financing  suits  brought  by  others ○ Filing  amicus  curiae  briefs • Brown  v.  Board  of  Education(  1954)  is  an   example  of  a  case  brought  by  groups  (notably   the  NAACP)  to  advance  a  policy  agenda Interest  Group  Influence:   Mobilizing  Public  Opinion Tuesday,  April  19,  2016 10:37  AM • Interest  groups  try  to  pressure  politicians  by   mobilizing  public  opinion • One  way  to  do  this  is  to  "go  public"  -­‐ the  act   of  launching  a  media  campaign  to  build   popular  support • This  includes  advertising  campaigns,   protests,  grassroots  lobbying  efforts,  and   building  lists  of  supporters  and  urging  them   to  pressure  officials Interest  Group  Influence:   to  pressure  officials Interest  Group  Influence:   Using  Electoral  Politics Tuesday,  April  19,  2016 • Political  Action  Committees ○ PACs  are  private  groups  that  raise   and  distribute  funds  for  use  in   election  campaigns ○ PACs  give  to  candidates  and  to   parties ○ In  2012,  PACs  contributes  over  $1   billion • Independent  Expenditures ○ Groups  spend  money  on  voter   education ○ As  long  as  it  is  not  coordinated   with  a  campaign,  spending  in  this   category  may  be  unlimited Interest  Group  Influence:   Activism  and  the  Initiative Tuesday,  April  19,  2016 10:43  AM • Campaign  Activism ○ Groups  participate  in  electoral   politics  other  than  by  making   contributions  to  candidates ○ Groups  engage  in  GOTV  efforts,   particularly  unions  working  on  behalf   of  Democrats • The  Initiative ○ Groups  sponsor  ballot  initiatives ○ Initiatives  are  sometimes  used  to   overcome  legislative  opposition ○ Initiatives  are  sometimes  used  to   overcome  legislative  opposition Are  Interest  Groups   Effective? Tuesday,  April  19,  2016 • The  evidence  is  surprisingly  mixed ○ Some  research  has  found  that   advocacy  rarely  yields  returns Other  research  has  found  that  the   ○ small  amount  of  money   corporations  spend  on  advocacy  is   a  sign  that  it  is  not  worth  much  to   them • However,  if  advocacy  did  not  work,   groups  would  not  spend  money  on  it  at   all


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