• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

pressure groups

Extracts from this document...


US pressure groups are undemocratic, discuss There are wide ranges of views amongst the pressure groups that operate in the US. Many tend to hold firm beliefs that they are somewhat effective in disabling political dominance of all three branches of government. Others however, see them as adding to the splintering and atomisation of US society, employing different techniques that make them largely undemocratic. Firstly, to begin, many argue that pressure groups are inherently undemocratic, due to the revolving door syndrome. This is the terms used for when pressure groups work through professional lobbyists who are former member's of congress or former congressional staff members. Critics argue that such methods employed by pressure groups constitute an abuse of public service. People exploit knowledge and contacts with branches of government, all just to represents their own interests as well as making substantial sums of money. Politicians may walk out of the political door perhaps due loss in an election and emerge back the political world as a Washington lobbyist. ...read more.


Such activities have been associated with group's i.e. Christian rights or fundamentalist forms in Iraq /Iran. During the 1990s violence erupted in America where shootings, murders and bombings broke out around abortion clinics by pro-life groups. The activities went to such an extent that these radical movements also assassinated doctors who carried out abortions. Again, it is apparent that pressure groups are a cause to the shattering of democracy in the US. On the other hand, many still argue that they perform important functions, including policy monitoring. They scrutinise and hold the government to account in the implementation of policies, to try ensuring that promises are fulfilled, policies are delivered and regulations enforced. Indeed in legal terms, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured people (NAACP) certainly proved influential in securing the success of the Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka decision. They managed to make it clear of all the inequalities that existed, that led to affirmative action by the ruling of the Supreme Court. ...read more.


Groups such as those that represent various ethnic Americans are good examples. These can include the American Jewish Congress or the Organisation of Chinese Americans. Critics view such groups as splitting society by accentuating 'me' rather than 'we'. It's argued that they spend a considerable amount of time fighting for their own special interests, whilst not adhering to the interests of the wider society. In support of pressure groups, the final argument that is usually made regards the educational experiences they provide. Many suggest that they educate the public opinion, ensuring everyone is conscious of the dangers if the government does not deal issues of importance and the effects of decisions made by the governments too. For example, membership pressure groups such as think tanks have been particularly important in the US. They conduct research; publish reports, all to benefit the people at large. To reach a firm conclusion, it is clear that pressure groups are to a degree very undemocratic, namely because of the methods they undertake. Yet, it must be made clear that they do perform key roles that to many seem to strengthen democracy rather than weaken it. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Pressure Groups section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Pressure Groups essays

  1. Are pressure groups good or bad for democracy?

    Pressure groups therefore act like a safety valve preventing revolutions and civil wars. When in 2003 Tony Blair announced his decision to invade Iraq a huge organisation "Stop the War Coalition" emerged. Over a million people went to the demonstration against the visit of George Bush to London expressing their disagreement with the government.

  2. The wealthier and the closer the pressure group is to the government, the more ...

    Nevertheless, the implications on democracy appear to be negative. Pressure groups are actively excluding the voices of many, and this can produce a democracy deficit, if those who wish to be involved in a pressure group are unable to. Nevertheless, pressure group can be successful in enhancing democracy in the UK, despite its apparent reliance on success Pressure groups

  1. Examples, methods and the effects on democracy of pressure groups.

    Although pressure groups have a somewhat unofficial place in how a country is governed they do have a place, its one where people can have a say, sometimes those who aren't able to vote also get to share their thoughts and beliefs & through joining up with others that stand

  2. The changing nature and activities of pressure groups - to what extent are they ...

    the compromises of the major political parties in favour of more radical solutions (the Countryside Alliance, although relatively new, has in excess of 100,000 members). Similarly, more people feel able to spend a portion of their income and a degree of their time pursuing their interests via membership of pressure groups rather than political parties.

  1. 'The existence of pressure groups makes government more democratic; the activities of pressure groups ...

    Pressure groups support or acceptance of a particular policy can help to legitimise it, therefore increasing its chances of a successful implementation. When governments are formulating policies, they consult certain groups, e.g. The Ministry of Agriculture. Wyn Grant has distinguished these as 'insider' groups.

  2. The existence of pressure group makes government more democratic; the activities of pressure groups ...

    Within 50 years, membership to the Labour Party has declined from one million to 280,000 members; the Conservative Party's membership has decreased even further from 3 million to 318,000. Meanwhile, membership to organisations such as the National Trust (2.8 million members), and to the Royal Society (one million) has increased.

  1. A Cabinet Minister once described Pressure Groups as Creatures which strangle efficient government. Discuss ...

    An example of this would be ?Plane Stupid? who recently protested against Heathrow?s third runway. They didn?t consider that many people would be delayed with the disruptions to Heathrow. Carrying on with Heathrow, the Pressure Groups against the third runway only see that a third runway would make more noise

  2. Pressure groups revison notes

    Views of ordinary people- little impact 3. eg: Charles Wright Mills 1950s- "The Power Elites" which said certain groups influence policy decisions such as politicians, financers, military, police force- they work together to maintain the established order in society and the majority of the population have very little influence on decision making Practice questions: (a)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work