To what extent do pressure groups promote pluralist democracy?Watch
Was given this question, please could anyone help
Didn't think so..
^^ It's written by the Chief Examiner and is generally a bit of a bible for this spec.
1) interest group pluralism is another way of participating in a democracy other than voting, but also a way of giving knowledge to governments (or parties); to be a member of such a group is a way of enforcing knowledge in government policy, so long as the government or members of parliament will listen (and they often do, because they want to look like they're in touch) - they want to create policy with both community support (i.e. if membership is high) AND have expertise from the researchers within that group. but there are often complicting pressure groups that represent different social cleavages in society - i.e. the pro hunting and anti hunting lobbies. therefore, to have two competing groups means that the government have all the knowledge at their disposal from communicating with both of them, and they can also judge the influence of groups based on their membership numbers and their civility (i.e. violent groups aren't civil). therefore, it promotes participation and democracy because people can participate in another way from merely voting and it will have a concrete effect on government policy, so long as the group is sufficiently big and powerful, or promotes itself very well to make it noticed. some might say that this kind of interest group activity is plutocratic and not meritocratic or democratic, but honestly, if there is an issue that people care about, a interest group representing such an issue *will* likely be successful - social media is a powerful thing, and even if a gropu has a lot of wealthy donors yet no popularity, it is clear when this is the case - if you had a group called "encourage smoking to teenagers" and they had a lot of money for research, that money isn't going to do jack **** for them, is it...
2) interest group participation in terms of trade unions can also influence governments greatly because some trade unions are basically in charge of policy areas. let's take the royal colleges of nurses/surgeons (etc) or the british medical association. not only are the managers of these trade unions basically overseeing everything that happens in such sectors and hence have knowledge that the government needs to effective policy creation, but those trade unions whom the government require to actually enforce policy, i.e. in the NHS if all the nurses striked, the government wouldn't be able to provide healthcare too well, for instance, and they'd have little options other than to comply with the needs ofthose workers to prevent strikes. so trade union interestr group participation via strikes and other such acts, alongside membership influence over the managers of these groups who participate in parliamentary select and standing committees (that shape legislation), is obviously another very important way that citizens can shape the policies of their national government - strikes require the approval of the interest group members (who are the workers of these sectors) so it is very bottom down in a lot of cases today.
hope I helped...