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interest group

an organized group of individuals or organizations that make policy-related appeals to government


the theory that all interests are and should be free to compete for influence in the government. The outcome of this competition is compromise and moderation

informational benefits

special newsletters, periodicals, training programs, conferences, and other information provided to members of groups to entice others to join

material benefits

special goods, services, or money provided to members of groups to entice others to join

solidary benefits

selective benefits of group membership that emphasize friendship, networking, and conciousness-raising

purpose benefits

selective benefits of group membership that emphasize the purpose and accomplishments of the group


an attempt by a group to influence the policy process through persuasion of government officials

going public

the act of launching a media campaign to build popular support

Political Action Committees (PACs)

private groups that raise and distribute funds for use in election campaigns


a process by which citizens may petition to place a policy proposal on the ballot for public use

Astroturf Lobbying

grassroots lobbying (mobilizing ordinary citizens to write their representatives in support of a group's position), which generates fake letters to give the illusion of more support

Stealth Lobbying

when interest groups are able to place ther representatives directly on congressional staffs

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