I'll.Be.Back
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Hey,
In regards to pressure groups, if anyone has any notes on how pressure groups have changed over time, that would be greatly appreciated (probs 25 marker?)

Thanks very much!
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Bismarck.
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I'll be watching this as I don't really have any notes myself on this but this is what I've thought of

+ Have become larger, for example the RSPB is now more than twice the size of all three political parties combined
- However arguably many of these are 'cheque book' memberships and perform no participatory role higher than donating money

+ There has been more participation in Pressure Groups, for example the Stop The War Iraq War protests amased reported support of 1.5m+

- Pressure groups still internally undemocratic such as in Green Peace (I think xD)
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srascal8
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I've got this if it helps.


To what extent have pressure groups become more important in recent years?


Definition: Pressure groups are groups of like-minded people that campaign to influence government on a single issue. Why is the Q being asked?: Pressure groups have been part of the political scene for decades but there is no doubt that recent years have witnessed the rise of a ‘new pressure group politics’ far removed from the formal, mass-membership pressure groups. Whether this means they have become more important in recent years is a matter for debate. Signpost your answer: Some would argue that these new forms of pressure groups are providing a dynamic new outlet in which causes outside the mainstream of party politics are being championed. Others argue that this supposed ‘Brave New World’ in fact is nothing more than a thin veil masking undercurrents of apathy and increased social isolation and marks a decline in the importance of pressure groups.


There is no doubt that pressure groups have increased in number and diversity in recent years. In this sense they are far more important. The internet has facilitated this greatly making it easier to start up new groups from the ‘bottom up’ and globalisation too has meant that national borders are no obstacle to establishing international groups. A recent example of this has been the ‘Occupy’ movement which has spread to many cities around the world in recent weeks (November 2011). Organisers use the internet and social networks such as facebook and twitter to mobilise supporters quickly and as forums to discuss ideas and plan campaigns. There is no doubt that they have had some success in attracting media support and in staying a step ahead of the authorities (e.g. the media furore over the ongoing St. Paul’s occupation). However to date such groups are still being largely ignored by the political elite and none of their policies have been taken up by the major parties. Whilst they may be effective at courting the media there is relatively little evidence that their technology-savvy campaigns are reaping any more rewards than their ‘mass membership’ predecessors and their ‘international’ dimension has sometimes meant that their core message has been vague and not necessarily straightforward for governments to act upon even if they wanted to.


Where pressure groups are perhaps becoming more important is when they do actually have ‘insider’ status and can be of use to politicians in the increasingly technocratic art of government. When in difficulty or need there is no doubt that governments increasingly seek the specialist advice available through such groups. One example would be the influence of ASH and the BMA under the last Labour government in advising on a number of anti-smoking measures during the Blair /Brown era. These included banning smoking in public places and legislation on removing cigarette advertising and selling them under the counter. They are also campaigning at present on a smoking ban in cars. Such groups have considerable expertise in matters of public health and information that is valuable to decision-makers. In the present Conservative government the CBI is playing an important role influencing the direction of economic policy. Therefore as policy-making becomes more complex and sophisticated (and as more ‘access points’ emerge – the devolved parliaments, the EU etc) certain insider groups are finding their expertise increasingly valuable and themselves at the heart of government and becoming more influential.


Finally, it can be argued that the increasing atomisation of society has also led to pressure groups becoming more important as they have eclipsed political parties as the most important way in which people express their political beliefs. Increasingly citizens look to fashion their own political identity using a ‘pick and mix’ technique rather than following the ‘off the shelf’ option offered by a particular party. For example, it is now quite possible for someone to be a member of a Pro-Life pressure group as well an environmental group such as Greenpeace when no single party might offer this combination of political preferences. Pressure groups have therefore multiplied in number to take advantage of the more individualised nature of today’s politics and membership of pressure groups generally has risen whilst that of parties has nose-dived (the RSPB for example has more members than all the political parties put together). However it still remains a moot point as to whether they have actually become more important or whether in fact diversification has entailed a dilution of influence.


There are a number of arguments to suggest that pressure groups are becoming less important. The multiplication of pressure groups mentioned above has arguably resulted in pressure groups cancelling out one another’s influence. Nowadays as soon as one group forms so does another in opposition often negating its impact. This could arguably be said to be the case with the pro-smoking pressure group, Forest, and ASH as well as Protest and the ALF etc. It could even be argued that the role of government has become increasingly important in ‘holding the ring’ between all the competing interests . Therefore government has perhaps reasserted itself after the years of corporatism in the 1970s and 1980s, seen as something of a heyday for pressure groups.


The point also needs to be made that, despite increasingly professionalised organisation and mass support the pressure groups that have emerged in recent years have had relatively little success in actually bringing about policy change. The Countryside Alliance, despite its mass matches, did not thwart the hunting bill, the Stop the War coalition did little to alter policy on the Iraq War and the Make Poverty History campaign has not achieved much either (not aided by the global financial crisis which followed it). At the present time of government cuts we are in an era of mass protest yet, again, there is no evidence that this is having any significant impact on changing government policy. Students have protested against the raising of tuition fees and education cuts, while the public sector unions plan a mass day of action against pension cuts at the end of this month (30th November 2011). So far no group has had any real success in influencing government and the leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, has been reluctant to link himself with either campaign. It would appear that, in many respects, governments are becoming less enthusiastic in associating themselves with particular interest groups for fear of not being seen to speak for the country as a whole and losing their status as a ‘catch all’ party. Therefore it could be argued that pressure groups have become less important in recent years.


In conclusion there is no hard evidence that pressure groups have become any more important in recent years. Whilst it is tempting to look at the huge growth in the number of groups (and indeed of pressure group membership) as evidence for their becoming more important, it is crucial that we don’t confuse this growth in size with a growth in influence. Summary of key points: Whilst there is no doubt that certain insider groups still wield considerable influence within government (especially those which possess information important to decision-makers such as the BMA, CBI and NFU) there is no real evidence that this has grown any more in recent years. In contrast many of the groups new on the pressure group scene in recent years are actually ‘outsider’ groups (Occupy London, UK Uncut, Stop the War etc) and, despite attracting much public attention, they have had little success in actually influencing government. Answer the question: Therefore it is difficult to argue that pressure groups have become any more important or influential in recent years.
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eff01
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Remember in your essay to always define what pressure groups are and include lots of examples . I miss A level Gov and Pol lol.
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srascal8
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(Original post by eff01)
Remember in your essay to always define what pressure groups are and include lots of examples . I miss A level Gov and Pol lol.
hey, how did you revise global politics unit 3 edexcel if you did that topic?
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eff01
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(Original post by srascal8)
hey, how did you revise global politics unit 3 edexcel if you did that topic?
Didn't revise that topic. But for the others I used the lecture slides, textbook if provided. Just remember the questions will be based on the stuff you've covered in lessons. Also put in examples that are relevant today it demonstrates that you know extra stuff . Good luck. If you need any help just quote me, I got an A* in 2010, so I could help if you need it.
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I'll.Be.Back
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(Original post by srascal8)
I've got this if it helps.


To what extent have pressure groups become more important in recent years?


Definition: Pressure groups are groups of like-minded people that campaign to influence government on a single issue. Why is the Q being asked?: Pressure groups have been part of the political scene for decades but there is no doubt that recent years have witnessed the rise of a ‘new pressure group politics’ far removed from the formal, mass-membership pressure groups. Whether this means they have become more important in recent years is a matter for debate. Signpost your answer: Some would argue that these new forms of pressure groups are providing a dynamic new outlet in which causes outside the mainstream of party politics are being championed. Others argue that this supposed ‘Brave New World’ in fact is nothing more than a thin veil masking undercurrents of apathy and increased social isolation and marks a decline in the importance of pressure groups.


There is no doubt that pressure groups have increased in number and diversity in recent years. In this sense they are far more important. The internet has facilitated this greatly making it easier to start up new groups from the ‘bottom up’ and globalisation too has meant that national borders are no obstacle to establishing international groups. A recent example of this has been the ‘Occupy’ movement which has spread to many cities around the world in recent weeks (November 2011). Organisers use the internet and social networks such as facebook and twitter to mobilise supporters quickly and as forums to discuss ideas and plan campaigns. There is no doubt that they have had some success in attracting media support and in staying a step ahead of the authorities (e.g. the media furore over the ongoing St. Paul’s occupation). However to date such groups are still being largely ignored by the political elite and none of their policies have been taken up by the major parties. Whilst they may be effective at courting the media there is relatively little evidence that their technology-savvy campaigns are reaping any more rewards than their ‘mass membership’ predecessors and their ‘international’ dimension has sometimes meant that their core message has been vague and not necessarily straightforward for governments to act upon even if they wanted to.


Where pressure groups are perhaps becoming more important is when they do actually have ‘insider’ status and can be of use to politicians in the increasingly technocratic art of government. When in difficulty or need there is no doubt that governments increasingly seek the specialist advice available through such groups. One example would be the influence of ASH and the BMA under the last Labour government in advising on a number of anti-smoking measures during the Blair /Brown era. These included banning smoking in public places and legislation on removing cigarette advertising and selling them under the counter. They are also campaigning at present on a smoking ban in cars. Such groups have considerable expertise in matters of public health and information that is valuable to decision-makers. In the present Conservative government the CBI is playing an important role influencing the direction of economic policy. Therefore as policy-making becomes more complex and sophisticated (and as more ‘access points’ emerge – the devolved parliaments, the EU etc) certain insider groups are finding their expertise increasingly valuable and themselves at the heart of government and becoming more influential.


Finally, it can be argued that the increasing atomisation of society has also led to pressure groups becoming more important as they have eclipsed political parties as the most important way in which people express their political beliefs. Increasingly citizens look to fashion their own political identity using a ‘pick and mix’ technique rather than following the ‘off the shelf’ option offered by a particular party. For example, it is now quite possible for someone to be a member of a Pro-Life pressure group as well an environmental group such as Greenpeace when no single party might offer this combination of political preferences. Pressure groups have therefore multiplied in number to take advantage of the more individualised nature of today’s politics and membership of pressure groups generally has risen whilst that of parties has nose-dived (the RSPB for example has more members than all the political parties put together). However it still remains a moot point as to whether they have actually become more important or whether in fact diversification has entailed a dilution of influence.


There are a number of arguments to suggest that pressure groups are becoming less important. The multiplication of pressure groups mentioned above has arguably resulted in pressure groups cancelling out one another’s influence. Nowadays as soon as one group forms so does another in opposition often negating its impact. This could arguably be said to be the case with the pro-smoking pressure group, Forest, and ASH as well as Protest and the ALF etc. It could even be argued that the role of government has become increasingly important in ‘holding the ring’ between all the competing interests . Therefore government has perhaps reasserted itself after the years of corporatism in the 1970s and 1980s, seen as something of a heyday for pressure groups.


The point also needs to be made that, despite increasingly professionalised organisation and mass support the pressure groups that have emerged in recent years have had relatively little success in actually bringing about policy change. The Countryside Alliance, despite its mass matches, did not thwart the hunting bill, the Stop the War coalition did little to alter policy on the Iraq War and the Make Poverty History campaign has not achieved much either (not aided by the global financial crisis which followed it). At the present time of government cuts we are in an era of mass protest yet, again, there is no evidence that this is having any significant impact on changing government policy. Students have protested against the raising of tuition fees and education cuts, while the public sector unions plan a mass day of action against pension cuts at the end of this month (30th November 2011). So far no group has had any real success in influencing government and the leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, has been reluctant to link himself with either campaign. It would appear that, in many respects, governments are becoming less enthusiastic in associating themselves with particular interest groups for fear of not being seen to speak for the country as a whole and losing their status as a ‘catch all’ party. Therefore it could be argued that pressure groups have become less important in recent years.


In conclusion there is no hard evidence that pressure groups have become any more important in recent years. Whilst it is tempting to look at the huge growth in the number of groups (and indeed of pressure group membership) as evidence for their becoming more important, it is crucial that we don’t confuse this growth in size with a growth in influence. Summary of key points: Whilst there is no doubt that certain insider groups still wield considerable influence within government (especially those which possess information important to decision-makers such as the BMA, CBI and NFU) there is no real evidence that this has grown any more in recent years. In contrast many of the groups new on the pressure group scene in recent years are actually ‘outsider’ groups (Occupy London, UK Uncut, Stop the War etc) and, despite attracting much public attention, they have had little success in actually influencing government. Answer the question: Therefore it is difficult to argue that pressure groups have become any more important or influential in recent years.
What a babe :').
That must have taken you ages but thanks so much for your help!
I really appreciate it
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Jadesola
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soooooooooooo appreciated omg
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MA1111
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this is now from 2017! you probably won't reply... but, TO WHAT EXTENT HAVE THE INFLUENCE AND POWER OF PRESSURE GROUPS CHANGED IN RECENT YEARS?
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Audrey18
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(Original post by MA1111)
this is now from 2017! you probably won't reply... but, TO WHAT EXTENT HAVE THE INFLUENCE AND POWER OF PRESSURE GROUPS CHANGED IN RECENT YEARS?
im curious. do share if you can.
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MA1111
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(Original post by Audrey18)
im curious. do share if you can.
I've just done my politics exam. If you search campaigns such as say: the sea world ban of orca breeding in Jun 2016 it proves the impact the pressure group (PETA ect) have had...
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Audrey18
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(Original post by MA1111)
I've just done my politics exam. If you search campaigns such as say: the sea world ban of orca breeding in Jun 2016 it proves the impact the pressure group (PETA ect) have had...
how did your exams go? which units are you doing for A2? Is this for edexcel?
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