• 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. Democratic features of pressure groups

    This was firmly in favour of a full ban. Similarly, the million-strong march against the 2003 Iraq war was extremely impressive, but, in truth, the country was divided quite evenly on the issue. 4. Other factors We can add several other factors that might lead some groups to enjoy a disproportionate amount of power.

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

    They can also help to create a climate of public opinion which puts pressure on decision makers. There are many ways in using the media. Firstly, the media can provide visibility, secondly, the media acts as a source of information for pressure groups.

  1. Why are some pressure groups more successful than others?

    The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (1 million members), Friends of the Earth (200,000) and the Countryside Alliance (100,000) all claim influence through the weight of public opinion. If we consider the two major motoring organisations - the AA and RAC - as pressure groups, we can see

  2. How do British Pressure groups exert influence?

    So, the type of external groups given insider status varies from government to government. Outsider groups, however, do not participate in the consultation process, mainly by government exclusion, but occasionally by choice. Most outsider groups aim to achieve insider status, for the opportunity to exert more influence.

  1. 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.

  2. To what extent have pressure groups in the UK changed in recent years?

    it exhibits how the internet can be used to greatly mobilise public opinion as shown by the aftermath of the action Ferdinand took. Overall, all pressure groups, both interest and promotional, both insider and outsider, use the internet to reinforce their activities and to essentially give people a much better idea of what they stand for.

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