What are Interest Groups? Essay

What are Interest Groups? Essay

Length: 1218 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Interest groups are private organizations and voluntary associations whose members share certain views and ideology. They work together to shape public policy, or goals of the government. Interest groups try to work within the government structure and use several techniques, such as lobbying, to achieve their goal. These groups spend a great deal of money and put a lot of effort into persuading government officials to support bills or policies they feel would be beneficial. There are two viewpoints on the impact of interest groups. One side views them as factions that are serving their own purpose with disregard to society or community as a whole. On the other side, interest groups serve as a necessary device in democracy and work for the public interest.
James Madison viewed interest groups as evil factions; special interest groups that only cared about their own agenda and not the common good. Madison wanted both liberty and order and believed political factions were inevitable and the government needed to control their effects. According to Madison, granting people the freedom to form groups and express their opinion could sabotage the hope for a manageable society. The separation of powers plus the checks and balances system of government help to keep one group from becoming too powerful. It also enables many avenues and levels that allow even the small groups a chance to be heard. (pg. 220-221)
Pluralists believe that interest groups enhance democracy. They are argue that interest group politics was a considerable power in American government and society. According to pluralism theory, all groups should be free to vie for influence in the government. Interest groups represent many diverse parts of society and provide exp...


... middle of paper ...


... There has even been an effort to regulate campaign financing and contributions.
Since the majority of lobbyist represent business interests and better educated and wealthier Americans are more active in interest group politics, many interests at the bottom of the economic spectrum enjoy minimal or no representation at all. Many interest groups are formed when interests are threatened. This is known as the disturbance theory. Interest groups are not political parties therefore they do no nominate candidates, are only concerned with a few specific issues, do not worry about others with different opinions and are organized based on a shared values and not geographic location. Because of their narrow fields, lobbyist, regardless of the interest group, need to develop long term relationships with officials and/or their staff members to make an impact on policy making.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Interest Groups And The Branches Of Government Essay example

- Question 7: What are interest groups and in what ways are they involved in each of the three branches of government. In what ways can it be said that interest groups weaken and strengthen democracy. Interest groups are an interesting part of politics that usually gets overlooked. The term interest group is self-explanatory but the definition can be a bit more politically thorough: An organized group that tries to influence the government to adopt certain interests, policies, or measures also called pressure group....   [tags: Separation of powers, Democracy, Lobbying]

Strong Essays
856 words (2.4 pages)

Essay The Influence of Political Interest Groups

- Political interest groups have had a profound influence over important governmental decisions throughout the history of the United States. James Madison believed that everyone is self-interested; therefore, interest groups are an assemblage of individuals who share the same self-interest acting together to obtain goals beyond individual reach in complex societies. These interest groups are highly organized factions that have a certain agenda that is important to them. In order to ensure their agenda is protected, these groups will often lobby various levels of government, have new laws or regulations instituted that will aid their agenda, or argue against possible laws, codes, or regulations...   [tags: U.S. Politics ]

Strong Essays
986 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Interest Groups and Public Policy

- In the United States there are interest groups that form at a national and local level. These interest groups act as the voice of the American public in regards to public policy. There are three types of interest groups: public, economic, and environmental interest. These interest groups have goals to seek policy information on beliefs, commerce and ideals. Goals will vary from one group to another group. All groups use direct and indirect strategies to influence legislators. The American Culinary Federation represents a large number of culinary professionals of an interest group which represents it members in a local and national level....   [tags: Government]

Strong Essays
1502 words (4.3 pages)

Interest Groups in America Essay

- Let’s say that you are driving to the Olympia capital for the first time and you see a group of people standing around chanting and holding signs that say “STOP ABORTIONS.” You stop and ask your friend on what she thinks in going on. You both think that it is a protest against abortion, so you start to walk around wondering what is going on. You are told by one of the group members that he is part of an interest group that fights for pro-life. Your friends start to wonder what an interest group is since pro-life if such a big issue to her, she wants to be a part of it too....   [tags: Influence, Public, Importance]

Strong Essays
1315 words (3.8 pages)

What are Interest Groups? Essay

- Interest groups are private organizations and voluntary associations whose members share certain views and ideology. They work together to shape public policy, or goals of the government. Interest groups try to work within the government structure and use several techniques, such as lobbying, to achieve their goal. These groups spend a great deal of money and put a lot of effort into persuading government officials to support bills or policies they feel would be beneficial. There are two viewpoints on the impact of interest groups....   [tags: Organizations, Private, Government]

Strong Essays
1218 words (3.5 pages)

What are Interest Groups? Essay

- Interest groups are an association of individuals that is organized over shared concerns, with the common goal to influence public policy in their favor. To put it simply, all interest groups desire to affect the government in order to benefit themselves. Interest group’s goals range from policies that benefit specific group members or certain groups in society, to policies that affect a broad public sector such as improving air quality. Interest groups can be found in all branches of society, and range from areas such as labor to economics to agriculture....   [tags: public policy, power]

Strong Essays
1885 words (5.4 pages)

Interest Groups Essay

- An interest group is an organized group of people that come together to attempt to influence policymakers in any level of government. They influence the different levels of government by giving money to a political candidate. They write letters, emails, and make phone calls to the policymakers. They attempt to get the policymakers to make legislation reflecting the objectives of the group (This Nation, 2008). Americans choose to join these interest groups because they are motivated by the group's objectives....   [tags: Government]

Strong Essays
992 words (2.8 pages)

Interest Groups Essay

- Interest groups are an important factor in a political system. By providing organizations and/or associations to join, they help individuals discover, organize and act upon their beliefs. In addition, interest groups provide an avenue for citizens’ to show their concerns to administrators and policy makers (Liberal Arts ITS, 2012). There are thousands of different interest groups to join including the National Education Association, NEA, and Greenpeace. The NEA aims to prepare students for success in public schools....   [tags: Politics]

Strong Essays
1672 words (4.8 pages)

Interest Groups and Political Parties Essay example

- Interest Groups and Political Parties The “advocacy explosion” in the United States in the 20th century has been caused by the extreme increase in the number of interest groups in the United States. The general public views the increase and the groups themselves as a cancer that has come to the body of American politics and is spreading. The explosion in the number of interest groups and interest group members and finances has had an effect on the decline of the American political party and partisanship, the effect on democracy and the public interest, and the bias that has come with interest group competition....   [tags: Government Politics Essays]

Strong Essays
1676 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on Interest Groups

- Interest Groups Help More Than Hurt Voter turnout has declined since 1960 but participation in interest groups has been growing. Participating in interest groups allows people to take action on issues that are most important to them. Unlike some linkage institutions, interest groups have a very close connection to government. Interest groups are an essential part of the democratic system because they allow the public to enter the political system, bring up specific issues in government, and help congress in various ways....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
433 words (1.2 pages)