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what is an interest group?
an organization of individuals who a share a common political goal and unite for the purpose of influencing government decisions
What are the 6 things that do interest groups do?
- Representation: interest groups represent their members' interests to Congress, the executive branch and administrative agencies. Includes lobbying
- Participation: mobilizes citizen to participate in politics
- education: provide information to the public and government officials
- agenda building: alert Congressmen to take action
- provide program alternatives:
- program monitoring: interest groups monitor whether their policy programs passed successfully
What are the 4 main resources that interest groups provide?
Why is it difficult to get people to form into groups to solve a common problem?
- As Olson would say using his "Rational Choice Theory", an individual weighs the cost and benefits of taking action in order to maximize his own personal advantage. Spending time and money on lobbying for a an organization would be deemed as a costly disadvantage for the individual.
- Weighing the costs of forming the group vs. benefits one receives from being in the group
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