Chapter 16 Interest Groups - Definitions, Text Notes, Class Notes & Connecting Theory to Reality


527s- independent interest groups that organize themselves to advocate on behalf on a candidate or issue (not regulated money)
civic virtue - forming small-scale associations for the collective good of the public
collective good - Something of value that cannot be withheld from a nonmember of a group, for example, a tax write-off or a better environment.
disturbance theory - David Truman's theory that interest groups form partially to counteract the activities of other interest groups
economic interest groups- different organizations that are pushing a certain cause or issue
elite theory- theory of the formation of public policy that states that only a few chosen people make the important decisions in society.
free rider problem - Potential members fail to join a group because they can get the benefit, or collective good, sought by the group without contributing the effort.
hard money- legally specified and limited contributions. The contributions are regulated by the federal Election Campaign Act and by the federal election commission.
hyperpluralism- The argument that pluralism (when coupled with a market capital economic system) inevitably evolves into an elite political system.
interest groups - organized groups that attempt to influence public policy
lobbying - The activities of a group or organization that seeks to influence legislation an d persuade political leaders to support the group's position. Lobbying can take many forms.
lobbyists- Interest group representatives who seek to influence legislation that will benefit his/her organization; generally lobbying firms like to hire former congressmen or staff who know the mechanics of congress and the people you need to get what the lobbying firms want.
patrons- people who finance groups
political action committees (PACs)- Federally mandated, officially registered fund-raising committees that represent interest groups
social capital- the use of an individuals political, economic or social status to influence an issue in the way the individual wants (Ex: Bill Clinton for Hillary)
soft money- unregulated money contributions
trade association- a group that represents a specific industry
public interest group - an organization that sets its goal as a collective good that does that directly benefit its members.
earmark - funds from an appropriations bill that has a designated purpose within a district.

Text & Class Notes

What makes Interest groups successful?
must find ways to attract members Patrons and funding- patrons finance the groups and without money the groups can't function Members- 3 small group of leaders- workers of the group(involved)-Rank and file members who don't actively participate

All interest groups require adequate funding to build their memberships as well as to advance their policy objectives. Wealthy individuals serve as patrons. Without financers, few interest groups could survive and carry on. Charismatic leaders often are very effective in starting up interest groups.

What are interest groups?
-Associations or groups of individuals who share some sort of common interest or attitude.
-Try to influence or engage in activity to affect governmental policies or the people in government.
-Categorized in multiple ways:
~multi-issue versus single-issue groups
~economic, public interest, and governmental units

The roots and development of American Interest Groups:
Did not emerge until around the 1830s. Later, from 1890 to 1920 the Progressive movement emerged. 1960s= wide variety of liberal interest groups. 1970s-1980s many new conservative groups formed to counteract those efforts.

What is the Progressive Era?
-Rapid industrialization, mass arrival of immigrants, monopolistic business = more crime, poverty, and unsafe working conditions.
- The Progressive Party wanted to end the power of the industrialists control over the oil, steel, and railroads.

Connecting Theory to Reality