Pressure Groups Flashcards Preview

A Level Politics UK and Ideologies > Pressure Groups > Flashcards

Flashcards in Pressure Groups Deck (28)
Loading flashcards...

Briefly name all 8 of the success factors of a pressure group

Opposition groups
Insider status
Celebrity involvement
Public support


Why may finance play a really important role in the success of a pressure group

If a pressure group has money, they can afford to campaign and employ people who understand what they are doing and have good connections
Also the pressure group can make donations to political parties


How can a celebrity help a pressure group
Give an example

They can heighten the media and public profile of a campaign
Elton John and AIDS


Why is public support important

Give an example

The government will look at how much electoral damage could be done if they are to refuse a policy

Pressure group ‘38 degrees’ gained half a million signatures in a few days. Led to the coalition gov reversing its plans to privatise England’s forests


Name an example where public support had no effect

The ‘stop the war’ campaign was the largest campaign ever seen in the UK but had no impact on Blair’s decision to go to war in Iraq


Why is organisation important to a pressure group

Helps groups to mobilise their resources effectively and to take concerted action


How have countervailing groups led to the failure of pressure groups in the past, examples

The group action on smoking was unsuccessful throughout the 1980s and 90s due to the very powerful well funded tobacco lobby which funded the conservatives


Why is it that insider group sometimes have more success than outsider groups

Insider groups have ongoing contact with the government and government relies on them for information and support


What is meant by an ideological outsider

When the groups goals clash fundamentally with the govt

Therefore groups philosophy is important


Why is size important in a pressure group

Give an example

-more members means more voters, govt will listen to them so to avoid a loss on elections
-more members is more subscriptions and donations=more wealth
-can organise campaigns and protests

NSPCC and RSPB have members above 1 million


What are some of the most effective campaign methods

Protests- bring it into public eye, media coverage, more public awareness
Lobby MPs/Petitions- direct route to government- where the change occurs


Least effective methods

Stunts- ie fathers for justice climbed onto Buckingham palace balcony- makes the group look disruptive/ non professional


Describe a sectional pressure groups

Represent the issues of a SECTION of society
Members usually hope to gain PERSONAL BENEFIT
An example includes trade unions- rewards members by having access to their lawyers


Describe cause pressure groups

Concerned with moral, political, social, ethical or spiritual causes
Membership is open to anyone, members do not gain anything personally
Example is friends of the earth


Describe outsider pressure groups

Have little influence
Negative public presence
Outside of Mainstream politics
Poorly organised


Why did trade unions lose their insider status between the 70s-90s

Thatcher passed anti trade union legislation


Why did friends of the earth go from outsider to insider status in the 2000s

More exposure on the environment in the 2000s as now people take global warming seriously


Describe insider groups

Close links with government
Governments need their backing and cooperation


What factors play a role in why some groups are insider and other are outsider pressure groups

-political compatibility with government
- if they are a credible threat to power
-mobilisation of public support
-authority of leading figures


“Credible threat to power”
Give an example of where this was the case

Age concern= main demographic is 70+
These are core conservative government voters so conservatives will want to appease this group


What are the three types of insiders

-core insiders-close relationship with ministers
-specialist insiders-offer expertise
-peripheral insiders- often consulted but have little political influence


What is a think tank

A small group of experts hired by political parties to come up with new ideas/policies and conduct research


What is a client pressure group

Have close relationships with government departments
They sit on advisory panels


How are parties and pressure groups different

Pressure groups focus on one specific issues, whereas parties focus on a range of issues
Pressure groups organised to fight campaigns, parties organised to fight elections
PGS if successful have no further reason to exist, parties if successful will grow and have a long term future


What are the functions of pressure groups

-encourage political participation between elections
- representation
-public education
-scrutiny of government policy


How are pressure groups sometimes damaging to democracy

When methods are militant and disobedient, it presents political participation to be damaging and intimidating


3 reasons why pressure groups are damaging to democracy

-not representative of their members as their officers are not elected (few groups have ways of consulting their members)
-the way that some groups operate increases social discontent by intensifying social frustration and injustice felt by disadvantaged
-large scale demonstrations are militant and show people that political participation is intimidating


3 ways pressure groups add to democracy

-gives people hope that they can make a difference- the ruling class would rather people focus on this hope rather than issues of the political system (ie hoL reform)
-pressure groups improve the quality of government - consultation improves the quality of the decision making process
-enable new concerns and issues to reach political agenda, thereby facilitating social progress