The Role Of Pressure Groups In Politics

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The role of pressure groups in politics

Every day society is more dynamic and much more organized, because human beings are social beings that are grouped in order to interact to seek a common good or to be able to meet their needs. That is why we will explain how in today’s societies there are demonstrations of people who affect the regulatory framework (legislation) not directly as democracy is but through the so -called pressure groups, since the opinions of the most take a considerable amount of paper in the decision -making process. Since a pressure group works as a weapon in terms of encouraging public participation to exercise its political duty and participate in the political process

The pressure groups in a few words are defined as an organized interest group, which seeks to influence the formulation and implementation of public policies. Another definition is that ‘a pressure group is an organization that seeks to influence the details of a comparatively small range of public policies and that is not a function of a recognized political party’. In other words, pressure groups differ from political parties in which they do not seek to win a political position; In addition, these are concerned with a sector theme instead of a wide range, therefore, pressure groups aim to protect or promote a shared interest. 

Groups can formally or informally organize; be interested in only one or a wide range of problems; and be temporary entities or permanent organizations with budgets, personal and space dedicated. They are organized through a variety of geographical problems and locations.

Apparently the pressure groups are small and extremely diverse that are formed on the basis of interest and activities, their functions give them a high public profile where minds are influenced and motivated to make changes. Then the role or objective of pressure groups is to generate support that can influence political agendas; to directly persuade the government to think about taking measures on the specific issue.

Pressure groups are also known as defense groups, special interest groups and protest groups. Pressure groups vary significantly depending on the size, influence and methods they use to exert influence. In addition, the interests advocated by the pressure groups are very varied and the groups are motivated to join in support of a particular action through common interest or beliefs, some examples of pressure groups would be those companies that support the tax reduction , unions that defend the safety of working and salary increases, this is seeking a collective benefit, on the other hand we also find health organizations that support the prohibition of smoking and the struggle for freedoms and equity of LGBT communities, these organizations They are voluntary formed to advance or defend a common cause or interest. They do not strive to take office or govern, they simply seek to express their ideas in an organized way.

Let’s analyze how the pressure groups prepared by Von Beyme in 1986 and started from the contrast between two groups:

  • "Specialized Economic Interest Group.
  • And public interest groups "


Understanding that those who join a group of economic interest seek first of their own benefit, while those who enter the other groups are primarily motivated by defending the interests of others. From this contrast, Von Beyme differentiates five main pressure groups:

  1. “Business or investors organizations.
  2. Unions.
  3. Middle class professional and corporate groups.
  4. Promotion groups and civic associations, private initiative.
  5. Political associations."


Pressure groups and movements make their government to accept their demands. These groups try to obtain public support through information campaigns, organizing meetings, presenting requests, and achieving sympathy for their objectives. They capture attention to these issues and try to influence the media. Some activities such as strikes or others that interrupt government programs. In order to force the government to take note of their demand, since by participating in the official bodies and committees they can offer advice to the government based on their claims.

Interest groups and movements do not participate directly in party policy, so they seek to influence political parties. Most movement groups have a political ideology and a political position without being a party, and take a political position on the main problems.

The relationship between political parties and pressure groups can take different forms. This can be directly or indirectly. Pressure groups are formed or led by the leader of political parties or act as the extended form of political parties.

In most cases, the relationship between parties and interest groups or movement groups is not direct. They often take opposed positions with each other, however, they are in dialogue and negotiation.

In general, it can be concluded that, although pressure groups and their characteristics play a coherent role to promote and improve democracy as public awareness increase and provide direct opportunities to participate, pressure groups can allow too much influence on the Government of extremist minority groups not chosen, which in turn could have unpopular consequences. And that they are also organizations that want to change policies, but do not want to become the government.

The characteristics that many groups and their leaders are elitists, where the power and decision -making process are concentrated in the hands of few ‘not chosen’ and a recent trend in the activity of the pressure group has been the increase in direct action illegal, such as property damage often connected to the new ‘social movements’ can definitely function as a threat to representative democracy.

There are many positive factors of pressure groups in a democracy, of which we intuit that pressure groups have the positive role of allowing greater participation in the policy of people that could otherwise be inactive in the political scene. Many people only get involved in politics at the time of elections and a growing number of people do not even do so. On the other hand, pressure groups defend the interests of minorities in the community, particularly those that do not obtain a powerful exit through political parties and in turn to help institutionalize the peaceful conflict and thus prevent disorder and instability , as is the case with strikes.

And it is observed that the progress of the media such as television and the Internet. They have allowed pressure groups to have a greater boom, because through those media their messages spread to common people to create empathy and strength (that people join) to the struggles they exercise. In addition, it allows a greater vociferation for people to organize.

So we saw the pressure groups try to influence politics and that they seek a common goal instead of the general, making increasingly greater pressure groups, making their role in politics take greater prominence.

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