How Can Interest Groups Threaten Democracy? Political Science 12

2402 words - 10 pages

3. There are concerns that the rise in the power of interest groups generally is a threat to American democracy.  How can interest groups threaten democracy?
How might they support democracy? What could be done to make the current system more democratic regarding interest groups?

Interest groups participate in virtually every arena of American politics. “[They] are active in many aspects of the electoral process and seek to influence the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government” (Interest Groups at the Dawn of a New Millenium). Connections between interest groups and political parties, government, and other interest groups are myriad and complex. They reflect the interplay of group goals, resources, and structures, as well as the institutional structure of government, the decentralized nature of the parties and the rules regulating interest group activity(American Journal of Political Science). The institutional and political environments in which interest groups operate influence how they organize and how they carry out activities; therefore, they must rely on different resources and use different tactics to try to influence political policy in American government. Although some people perceive interest groups with negative images due to excessive sums spent by groups to influence, interest groups express the best features of democracy; they are both necessary and useful in translating the myriad opinions and interests in the society into representative policy.
Organized interest groups sometimes referred to as special interests or factions, have always played important roles in American politics (Federalist No. 10). Factions weighed heavily on the minds of the Framers of the Constitution. They were a major focus of populist and progressive reformers at the turn of the twentieth century. However, at the dawning of the twenty-first century, individuals and reform groups continue to label organized interest groups as the villains of American politics.
Interest groups are similar “to political parties in that they work together and try to shape the outcome of elections and legislation” (A Theory of Political Parties). Unlike political parties, however, they do not nominate candidates, nor do they normally try to address a wide range of issues. They provide members in the group a sense of identification and belongings. In some cases, they provide opportunities to indirectly participate in politics to voice their opinion in public policy as well as their concerns.
        Most interest groups are organized as PACs, lobbies, grassroots groups, or in other form. “They use multifaceted strategies, adapting their tactics to suit new objectives and political circumstances” (Interest Groups at the Dawn of a New Millennium). They also use a variety of techniques to influence decisions made by the federal bureaucracy. Aside from electioneering and litigating, and shaping public opinion through media, the most common strategy is...

Find Another Essay On How can interest groups threaten democracy? - POLITICAL SCIENCE 12

Startegies Used by Interest Groups for Political Contributions

694 words - 3 pages Scholars have identified two main strategies that interest groups employ when they make political contributions (McKay 1). Some interest groups like Citizens United (a conservative, non-profit organization dedicated to restoring traditional government to citizens’), in order for them to keep and see their preferred candidates stay in office, the group spend mass amount of money on campaign contribution, rather than on lobbying expenditures. Such

Special Interest Groups and Lobbyists Are Ruining Democracy - American Government KSU - Essay

786 words - 4 pages from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/democracy Gilens, M., & Page, B. (2014). Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens. Perspectives on Politics, 12(3), 564-581. doi:10.1017/S1537592714001595 Hasley III, Ashley and Michael Laris. 2015. “Deadline for train safety tech- nology undercut by industry lobbying.” The Washington Post, October 25. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local

Compare and contrast the economic, political, and social structures of Ancient Athens to modern-day Iraq to see if democracy can work in Iraq

1152 words - 5 pages Democracy does not work. This is the case in some countries. However in others democracy can thrive and work like no other government. By comparing the political, economic, and social structures of ancient Athens and Iraq it can determine what the conditions are for democracy to work in Iraq. Before democracy is able to work in Iraq, the Iraqi people must learn to coexist with one another, pay off their debt, and Athens went through

How Having an Understanding of Lifespan Development Can Help those Delivering Care to Different Client Groups

1038 words - 4 pages How Having an Understanding of Lifespan Development Can Help those Delivering Care to Different Client Groups Regression is where a child reverts to the behaviour of a younger child. This could be because of an upheaval or a significant life event, such as parental divorce or the birth of a new sibling. Understanding regression helps children workers. For example, at my placement, a child which normally ate with a knife

Will the Water Run Dry in India?  How can I Relate? - College Science - Science Paper

1553 words - 7 pages throughout the day, where would you sacrifice?  If any of you don’t mind posting a reply, I would be interested to hear.  For me, I know I seriously have OCD when it comes to hand washing, so that can never go, I have to drink it of course I suppose I two showers a day and since my bathroom is in my room, I would not flush when just #1 (sorry didn’t know political way to state it pleasantly), I would cut that out at night. Water fun fact

How Far the Weimar Constitution Can Be Described as Creating an Effective Democracy

1379 words - 6 pages How Far the Weimar Constitution Can Be Described as Creating an Effective Democracy For the first time in the history of Germany, the state was a democratic republic. The constitution was something of a fragile experiment, a guinea pig. Theoretically speaking, the Weimar Constitution could be described as the most democratic constitution the world has ever laid eyes upon, in practice, things were not as clear

Jail Overcrowding, how to fix it and why - CRC political science - research paper

3754 words - 16 pages extremely expensive, dangerous and harmful to both prisoners and employees of the jails. Jail overcrowding is a top contributing factor on poor prison conditions everywhere. Operating over the prison's maximum capacity can worsen the conditions through poor sanitation and not being able to provide basic health care services to all the inmates. This can also increase violence among inmates as well as stress for the employees and inmates. Every day men

How the base area of a paper boat affects how much mass it can carry - Science - Lab report

2279 words - 10 pages An investigation of how the base area of a paper boat affects how much mass it can carry without sinking Introduction: Buoyancy is very important in all of our lives. It determines whether an object will float or sink, which is vital to the design of boats, life preservers and many more floating objects. A flaw in the buoyancy of an object can lead to catastrophic events such as sunken boats, oil spills and more. When an object is

The Extent of Political Mobilization A Critique of How Twitter can Help Predict an Election by: Fabio Rojas

768 words - 4 pages for accurate quantitative descriptions of voter electorates. The strongest attempt to determine the cause of citizen political participation is research into theories on mobilization, the resource model and social capital. However, when interpreted incorrectly, the political landscape that these models propose differ greatly from reality. Fabio Rojas, in How Twitter can Help Predict an Election, argues three central ideas that are contrary to

Electromagnetic Radiation Assignment: X-Rays - The history of x-rays, how they can help health services + science, why they exist, how to detect x-rays

1756 words - 7 pages . Light and Sound. Reed Educational Publish Headquarters, 1997. 20-21.Thornes, Stanley. Key Science. 1997. 200-201.Websites:24 Feb. 2006 .24 Feb. 2006 ."How can x-rays be detected and measured?" 24 Feb. 2006 .Kurtus, Ron. "Xrays." 11 Feb. 2005. 24 Feb. 2006 ."Making x-rays." Colorado Educational. 24 Feb. 2006 .Nasa Goddard Space Flight, and Simon & Schuster . "X-Ray." 2001. 24 Feb. 2006 ."Who discovered x-rays?" Arpansa Home> radiation basics. 24 Feb. 2006.

This is on the period of jacksonian democracy and how they saw themselves as the guardians of the United States Constitution, political democracy, and individual liberty

710 words - 3 pages Jacksonian DemocracyThe Jacksonian democrats saw themselves as the guardians of the United States Constitution, political democracy, individual liberty, and equality of economic opportunity. However, were they really all they claimed to be? They did attempt to increase the power of lower classes while decreasing the influence of the rich and powerful. Economically, they benefited from governing during a time of huge advances in transportation

Similar Essays

How Do Special Interest Groups And Mass Media Influence Democracy, Public Opinion, And The Political Process In America?

759 words - 4 pages groups could be better seen as an aggregation that is resolved to forestall or help change open arrangement without the need of being chosen (Twyman & Whitney, 2009). Furthermore, popular conclusion is characterized as the whole of all unique convictions in a given populace. By understanding what these parts of the current political ideal model should speak to we can better see how this marriage has been tainted and the electorate is, no doubt

Interest Groups And Political Parties Essay

1777 words - 7 pages public, not the party, keeps them in office. The rise of interest group trend has had a variety of effects on democracy. Interest groups have had a profound effect on political parties and therefore on democracy as a whole. Interest groups do more than try to control and influence candidates; they also try to influence the party as a whole. Berry claims that soft money “can be used to punish a party that is acting contrary to a firm's

The Influence Of Political Interest Groups

939 words - 4 pages side. With many interest groups using funds to influence the legislative to vote in favor of the legislative the interest group favors, democracy has become influenced by a few select groups of individuals instead of the people. With fewer interest groups, one hopes that political changes would be achieved through moral, democratic ways. Interest groups are factions that attempt to gain control without seeking elected office and they have

How The Religious Right And Special Interest Groups Are Eroding American Democracy

2261 words - 9 pages whose motives are primarily rooted in effecting change within the policies of their respective societies. Yet whilst interest groups are an important aspect of the political system, and indeed fundamental to a functioning democracy, the current political climate has exposed some of the more influential interest groups as greedy, extremist and ultimately dangerous to the progressive nature of democratic politics. Gun lobbyists and the religious