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

Revision notes on pressure groups

Extracts from this document...


Pressure Groups Short Questions What is a pressure group? * A pressure group is an organisation which seeks to influence public policy in relation to a particular issue. * Pressure groups tend to have a narrow issue focus and are bound together by shared interests or a common cause. * An example would be the CBI which represents 150,000 business and helps to influence government policy. What are the functions of pressure groups? * Representation * Political participation * Education * Policy formulation * Policy implementation. Outline 2 differences between a political party and a pressure group * A political party seeks to win power at various levels via elections like Labour, whereas pressure groups seek to influence those in power e.g. Make Poverty History. * Generally pressure groups focus on a single or narrow range of issues e.g. Countryside Alliance wanted to legalise hunting * Whereas political parties have to fight elections on a whole range of issues, released in the form of their party manifestos. Outline, with examples, 2 types of pressure groups * Promotional: a group that promotes causes, generally with moral concerns "for" people * Open to anyone and benefits all of society, such as Amnesty International which seeks to protect human rights everywhere, thus helping everyone. ...read more.


* Some pressure groups have sectional and promotional characteristics. * E.g. UK Coalition of People Living with HIV and AIDS appears to be a sectional group, but also carries out promotional activities linked to public health and education * Single pressure group may include members from both sectional and promotional motivations. E.g. the campaign against a 3rd runway at Heathrow. * Includes people locally, but people concerned about pollution * Some pressure groups mask their sectional motivations by adopting stance of a promotional group. Moral + altruistic concerns carry greater weight with public. * BMA exists to protect doctors, but its spokesmen speak in terms of public health and NHS. Why may some pressure groups choose to remain as outsider groups? * Reflection of the radical nature of a group's goals * Fear of becoming domesticated by being too closely involved with government * Recognition of fact that outsider strategies, like petitions and demonstrations are most likely way of engaging potential supporters * For example massed activism such as the fuel blockade in 2000 by the People's Fuel Lobby. How and why do pressure groups seek to influence Parliament? * Provide a mouthpiece for groups and interests that are not adequately represented through the electoral process or by parties * This is because groups are focussed mostly on individual issues, meaning they can effectively articulate a specific point. ...read more.


* Assessing power = how successful each group is. * Difficult to assess how successful each pressure group is * But can be interpreted through 3 different ways o Affecting government policy o Pushing an issue up the political agenda o Changing people's values * Also, debate over whether pressure groups widen the distribution of power, spreading it across the people * Or whether they concentrate power, strengthening the already powerful. * A.K.A: Pluralism vs. elitism. Explain the growth in the number and size of cause groups in recent years * Over half the cause groups in existence have been created since 1960 * Membership of many leading pressure groups dwarfs that of parties * RSPB has over 1 million members, membership larger than combined 3 major parties * Due to the appeal of the "new politics", characterizes by greater political activism and the spread of grass root participation * New types of political participation such as cyber activism have helped recruit many more members through things such as e-petitions and easy to access information * Emergence of access points such as the Human Rights Act 1998 and devolution has meant there are more ways for pressure groups to try and exert influence. * Globalisation has also strengthened and increased the number of pressure groups, in particular for business related groups * Has led to emergence of NGOs such as World Development Movement * 1992, 2400 NGOs took part in Earth Summit ...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. Pressure groups revision - short questions and answers.

    * Theory of distribution of power is widely and evenly dispersed in society * Not concentrated in hands of elite or ruling class * Positive view on pressure groups - promote healthy debate and strengthen democracy * No pressure group is dominant and all have a measure of political influence * Citizens are represented through their membership of organized groups.

  2. Sectional and promotional pressure groups.

    Most members will also be voters, as will their families and friends. A mass membership can help to communicate with strangers, by delivering campaign literature or holding big demonstrations to win the media. A group whose membership is drawn from a disadvantaged section of the population is less likely to

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

    They are populist groups concerned with a single issue. Snowdrop is a cause group set up after the 1996 massacre at Dunblane, 16 children and a teacher were killed. This brought the fact that guns were readily available into the forefront.

  2. Discuss why pressure groups are sometimes criticised.

    Groups such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament often overlook that the fact that, in many cases, it is necessary for countries to have nuclear arms for defense against other countries where there is no chance that disarmament could ever happen.

  1. How do British Pressure groups exert influence?

    governmental proposals, the same is not true of external groups with insider status. Instead independent organisations such as trade unions, charities or pressure groups, who are called upon by the government to provide expertise when it is needed. The type of group selected varies according to the government's ideological orientation and other factors such as public opinion.

  2. LESSON 1: Pressure Groups

    Although it promotes itself as a cause group, its cause supposedly being countryside life, anti-hunt groups have claimed it is a sectional group, arguing that it really only represents the interests of the rich and land gentry. LESSON 2: Insider & Outsider pressure groups and Think Tanks.

  1. Sectional pressure groups are ones that aim to represent the common interests of a ...

    There has also been a huge increase of paid political consultants who offer to act as intermediaries between pressure groups and parliament. Lobbyists are used mainly by sectional groups and commercial clients; however, some cause groups do make use of them.

  2. Pressure groups revison notes

    Specific aims with specific cause 5. May appeal to all sections of the population, but are concerned with a specific/related issues 6. May be permanent, when an issue is ongoing or temporary, which would disband once they achieve their aims 7. Permanent groups include Friends of the Earth and the Viewers and Listeners Association 8.

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