Basic interests: the importance of groups in politics and in by Frank R. Baumgartner

By Frank R. Baumgartner

This booklet is a smart instance of a literature assessment inside of political technology. From that point of view, it really is worthy paying for while you are faced with the duty of placing one jointly your self. as well as the truth that it can function an exemplar of a lit assessment, it additionally sheds loads of mild at the demeanour during which the examine of curiosity teams had advanced. those enterprises have been overlooked because the post-war period, until eventually at the present time once they are noticeable as one the best the explanation why evolution has been sluggish in coming to American politics. those authors spotlight parts within which extra learn is want if we're to understand extra approximately their function in this degree.

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Extra resources for Basic interests: the importance of groups in politics and in political science

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Within the broad area of group impact, there has also been considerable progress in documenting the structures of the Washington group system, noting the techniques of influence and access, and noting the different structures of relations among groups within various policy domains, issue-networks, and policy subsystems. Comparative studies of the relations between groups and government have led to many important findings, as have longitudinal studies of the efforts of groups to maintain access and generate favorable public policies over time.

As mentioned in the previous section, social psychologists often use definitions of groups related to a person’s inclusion in some demographic category, generally requiring no formal membership. For journalists, interest groups are law firms, corporations, coalitions, public relations firms, and individual lobbyists active in the policy process. Among political scientists, definitions vary widely. Those operating in the pressure-group tradition were more likely to use a restrictive definition of groups focusing on active governmental lobbying.

These definitions of groups make clear that a group exists to the extent that people think it exists. No action is necessary; only thought: “A social group can be defined as two or more individuals who share a common social identification of themselves or, which is nearly the same thing, perceive themselves to be members of the same social category” (Turner 1982, 15). BA R R I E R S T O A C C U M U L AT I ON 27 For many economists, voting analysts, and social psychologists, then, a group is defined within the mind of the potential member of that group.

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