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Interest group (lobby)

an organization of people sharing a common interest or goal that seeks to influence that making of public policy

Institutional interest group

individuals/organizations representing other organizations Ex: General Motors Interest Group

Membership interest group

run by people whose individual donations support a cause


representative of an interest group who contacts lawmakers or other government officials directly to influence their policy making


something of value one cannot get without joining an organization

Solidary incentive

the social rewards (sense of pleasure, status, or companionship) that lead people to join political organizations

Material incentive

money or things valued in monetary terms

Purposive incentive

a benefit that comes from serving a cause or principle

Ideological interest groups

political organizations that attract members by appealing to their political convictions or principles

Public-interest groups

political organization whose goals will principally benefit nonmembers

Social movement

a widely shared demand for change in some aspect of the social or political order

Political cue

a signal telling a legislator what values are at stake in a vote, and how that issue fits into his or her own political views on party agenda


assessments of a representative's voting record on issues important to an interest group

"revolving door"

Employment cycle in which individuals who work for government agencies that regulate interests eventually end up working for interest groups or businesses with the same policy concern.

Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act

A law which required groups and individuals seeking to influence legislation to register with the secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House of Representatives. Quarterly financial reports on expenses were also to be filed. Note new reform legislation (1995) was more stringent.

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