Pressure Groups

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‘Pressure groups are fundamental to understanding the British policy processes’. Discuss.

The way social and institutional change has reshaped the way government and Westminster operates .The government now make room for interest representation. People who share the same interests, or when they feel strongly about a belief and try to influence the government on certain issues of policies, they are referred to as a pressure group. ‘Pressure groups are voluntary organizations formed to defend a particular interest in a society or to promote cause or political position.’ Some pressure groups may be more important to the British policy process than others. I will discuss the role and influence they have to a democratically elected government on implementing policies.

There are two types of Pressure groups in Britain thus promotional groups also known as Cause groups, this group usually campaigns for a cause, RSPCA and the Farmer’s union are examples. The other one is Sectional groups also known as interest groups whose cause is’ usually maintenance of the status quo irrespective of the implications for the community.’ This group represents a section of society and most of them call themselves trade unions, they usually arise out of the modern economic division of labour, for an example teachers and lawyers. One may argue that this type of group is vital to the Government because they tend to be wealthy and have the ability to inflict economic and political sanctions on government by withdrawing cooperation.

Pressure groups are not political parties but they merely try to influence the policy makers. Sectional pressure groups enjoy the privilege of having direct access to the government, for example the Law Society is part of the board of advisors within the higher position, and is therefore referred to as one of the ‘insider groups’. A great number of groups don’t have this position and are therefore referred to...
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