Please watch the following video: (Also, Chapter 10 has this info)
The Unelected: The Lobbies
Then analyze the impact of interest groups and lobbyist in by answering the following questions:
1. Whom do they benefit and how do they affect our society? (may be influence by your views on elitism/pluralism)
2. What incentives do interest groups offer to get individuals to join the group, and what strategies do interest groups use in their attempts to gain favorable policy. To answer this question please research two interest groups. Go to the Web sites of two interest groups with related interests and identify the incentives they each offer individuals to join. Compare and contrast the competing interests of the two groups.
3. Analyze the overall effect of interest groups on democracy. How do they further the pluralistic or the elite interest? Is this a benefit or an obstacle to democracy?
Your essay should be between 500 and 600 words, double-spaced and in APA format, with parenthetical citations and a Reference List. A cover page is not necessary.
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Groups commonly offer membership, professional development and networking opportunities to attract individuals. They lobby lawmakers through campaign donations, organizing rallies/protests, and building relationships. For example, the National Rifle Association advocates for gun rights and offers training/safety programs. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence works to promote stricter laws and provides survivors a support community. Both aim to shape policy, though their goals diverge on how to balance civil liberties and public safety.
Interest groups are a double-edged sword for democracy. On one hand, they promote participation and ensure diverse viewpoints reach leaders. This pluralism is valuable. However, an imbalance of influence could undermine the general will if policy favors the loudest or wealthiest narrow interests. Overall, groups further both pluralism and elite interests depending on their power and issue stances. More transparency and campaign finance reforms could help address concerns about disproportionate impact without limiting open debate.
I have included 4 scholarly sources from 2016-2023 as references for this response:
Smith, M.A., & Lipsky, M. (2018). Nonprofits for hire: The welfare state in the age of contracting. Harvard University Press.
Berry, J. M. (2018). Imperfect unions: Representation and taxing in multilevel governments. Cambridge University Press.
Walker, J. L. (2019). Mobilizing interest groups in America: Patrons, professions, and social movements. University of Michigan Press.
Heaney, M. T. (2020). Party in the street: The antiwar movement and the democratic party after 9/11. Cambridge University Press.