Create an account
An organization of people with shared policy goals entering the policy process at several points to try to achieve those goals. They pursue their goals in many arenas.
A theory of government and politics emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies.
A theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines and that an upper-class elite will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of governmental organization.
A network of groups within the American political system that exercise a great deal of control over specific policy areas. They are composed of interest group leaders interested in a particular policy, the government agency in charge of administering that policy, and the members of congressional committees and subcommittees handling that policy.
All the people who might be interest group members because they share some common interest. It is almost always larger than an actual group.
Something of value (money, a tax write-off, prestige, clean air, and so on) that cannot be withheld from a group member.
The problem faced by unions and other groups when people do not join because they can benefit from the group's activities without officially joining. The bigger the group, the more serious the problem.
Goods (such as information publications, travel discounts, and group insurance rates) that a group can restrict to those who pay their annual dues.
Groups that have a narrow interest, tend to dislike compromise, and often draw membership from people new to politics. These features distinguish them from traditional interest groups.
According to Lester Milbrath, a "communication, by someone other than a citizen acting on his own behalf, directed to a governmental decision maker with the hope of influencing his decision."
Direct group involvement in the electoral process. Groups can help fund campaigns, provide testimony, and get members to work for candidates, and some form political action committees (PACs).
political action committees (PACs)
Political funding vehicles created by the 1974 campaign finance reforms. A corporation, union, or some other interest group can create one of these and register it with the Federal Election Commission, which will meticulously monitor its expenditures.
amicus curiae briefs
Legal briefs submitted by a "friend of the court" for the purpose of raising additional points of view and presenting information not contained in the briefs of the formal parties. These attempt to influence a court's decision.
class action suits
Lawsuits permitting a small number of people to sue on behalf of all other people similarly situated.
A state law forbidding requirements that workers must join a union to hold their jobs. It was specifically permitted in states by the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947
public interest lobbies
According to Jeffery Berry, organizations that seek "a collective good, the achievement of which will not selectively and materially benefit the membership of activities of the organization."
selective benefits of group membership that emphasize friendship, networking, and consciousness-raising
special goods, services, or money provided to members of groups to entice others to join
Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.
Having trouble? Click here for help.
We can’t access your microphone!
Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again
Reload the page to try again!Reload
Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom
Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom
It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.
Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.
For more help, see our troubleshooting page.
Your microphone is muted
For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.
Star this term
You can study starred terms together