Ch 15 Interest Groups

In Federalist No. 10, James Madison described how a government could be designed to control the effects of __________.

factions

When a case that an interest group is interested in, but not actually sponsoring, comes before a court, the group can __________.

file an amicus curiae brief to present the group's analysis of the case

Grassroots lobbying is best defined as __________.

getting the media to cover an issue

Which of the following raise money from individuals and then distribute it in the form of contributions to political candidates?

political action committees

According to Madison's Federalist No. 10, a(n) __________ is a group of individuals concerned more with their self-interest than with the rights of individuals outside the group or with the needs of society as a whole.

faction

Since the 1970s, political action committee (PAC) contributions have __________.

a. become increasingly important in congressional elections

A(n) __________ refers to an organization that seeks to influence public policy.

interest group

What is lobbying?

communicating with government officials to persuade them to support a particular policy position

The __________ problem occurs when people fail to join a group because they can get the benefits the group offers without contributing to the group's efforts.

free rider

What is a trade association?

an organization that represents businesses within a specific industry

What is a public interest group?

a group that works to gain benefits for society as a whole

In order to overcome the free rider problem, many interest groups offer material benefits. What are material benefits?

benefits given only to group members

What is an amicus curiae brief?

a written argument submitted to a court in support of one side of a case

Which of the following is the main type of organization that lobbies on behalf of workers?

labor union

What is the main objective of most labor unions?

to protect jobs and secure favorable wages and benefits for their members

What is a political action committee (PAC)?

an organization that solicits campaign contributions and distributes them to political candidates

Which of the following is a provision of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007?

lobbying disclosure requirements

Which of the following is an example of a public interest group?

a consumer rights group

Who engages in grassroots or outside lobbying?

a wide range of interest groups, including public interest groups and business groups

Which of the following is an example of a trade association?

the National Association of Manufacturers

Which of the following is an example of an economic interest group?

the Chamber of Commerce

What type of group is a trade association?

an economic interest group

How did Madison propose to overcome the problem of factions in Federalist No. 10?

by adopting a system of representative government

Which of the following is an example of grassroots/outside lobbying?

a petition sent to representatives in Congress

How do lobbyists typically seek to influence members of Congress?

by providing technical expertise on policy issues

How do interest groups lobby the courts?

by bringing lawsuits to the courts on behalf of classes of citizens

How do interest groups lobby the executive branch?

by appearing at administrative hearings to offer information

Which of the following is an example of the free rider (or collective action) problem?

an environmental group struggling to raise funds for a "clean air" campaign

Critics of pluralism have noted that __________.

resources and political power are unequally distributed within society

Which of the following is an assumption of pluralism?

Interest groups are integral to government decisions.

Members of Congress who receive contributions from political action committees (PACs) __________.

make sure that the PACs are granted access to the members and their staff

Which of the following is an example of a faction, as conceptualized by Madison in Federalist No. 10?

interest group

An interest group filing an amicus curiae brief is an example of __________.

lobbying the judicial branch

Which of the following is an activity that lobbyists regularly engage in?

providing elected officials with information about an interest group's position on a bill or issue

Which of the following factors was instrumental in bringing about the first national interest groups in the United States?

improvements in communication networks

Which of the following is a way that interest groups seek to influence elections?

recruiting and training candidates

Why do interest groups typically offer material benefits to their members?

to overcome the free rider/collective action problem

How might pluralism serve to enhance democracy?

by ensuring that no single interest becomes dominant

How does grassroots/outside lobbying differ from other efforts by interest groups to influence government?

Grassroots/outside lobbying focuses more than other forms of advocacy on influencing public opinion to support groups' goals.

How does lobbying the executive branch differ from lobbying Congress?

Lobbying the executive branch focuses more on rule making, whereas lobbying Congress focuses more on pending legislation.

Why are campaign contributions so important for interest groups seeking to influence government?

Campaign contributions help elect candidates who are friendly to groups' goals.

You are the leader of an environmental organization working to address the problem of climate change. Given the free rider problem, what would be the most effective way to get others to join your cause?

Offer an incentive, such as a t-shirt, to those who join the campaign.

How does lobbying Congress differ from lobbying the judicial branch?

Lobbyists often meet personally with members of Congress, whereas they cannot meet with judges.

How does lobbying the executive branch differ from lobbying the judicial branch?

Lobbying the executive branch may involve grassroots/outside lobbying, whereas lobbying the courts typically does not.

You are the leader of a consumer rights group that has been unable to get a meeting with your elected representative in Congress. How could you get the attention of your legislator on the issues your group cares about?

Organize a demonstration in the representative's district and invite the media.

How is lobbying the executive branch similar to lobbying the courts?

Both can involve lobbying related to the implementation of an existing policy.

How is lobbying Congress similar to lobbying the courts?

Both are commonly used strategies of interest groups seeking to influence public policy.

You are a policy analyst in the Department of Energy. You were just offered a job with a renewable energy company. How long must you wait before you can lobby the Department of Energy on behalf of your new employer?

2 years

Why is grassroots/outside lobbying an effective political tactic?

Grassroots lobbying shapes public opinion, and elected officials are known to respond to public opinion.

Which of the following, if true, would indicate that grassroots/outside lobbying is an ineffective political tactic?

Policy makers primarily work to satisfy the demands of their wealthiest campaign contributors. As a result, they rarely respond to broader public opinion.

Why was Madison particularly concerned about factions in Federalist No. 10?

He believed that factions pursuing their self-interest would work against the broader public interest.

To which of the following might political action committees (PACs) invest their contributions in order to maximize their political influence?

campaigns of incumbents

Political action committees (PACs) are an attractive option for campaign contributions because __________.

they combine many individual contributions, resulting in one large contribution that is greater than what one individual could do alone

Which type of organization would find it easiest to overcome the free rider/collective action problem?

a trade association representing a small number of firms

Which of the following statements, if true, would undermine the theory of pluralism?

Individuals with shared grievances do not always come together to form interest groups.

What did the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 achieve?

a ban on gifts and honoraria to members of Congress and their staffs

Which of the following conditions, if true, would eliminate the free rider/collective action problem?

if participation in an interest group were mandatory

Which of the following statements, if true, would confirm the theory of pluralism?

Elected officials seek out the opinions of multiple interest groups when creating policy.

Interest groups are important subjects of study in American politics because __________.

they provide a venue for citizens to participate in government

Why do small interest groups have an easier time enrolling potential members than large interest groups?

In a small group, any individual's share of the collective good may be great enough to make it rational for him or her to join.

T/F: According to the theory of pluralism, political power is distributed across a wide range of diverse and competing interest groups.

True

T/F: In recent years, political action committees (PACs) have declined as vehicles for campaign contributions.

False

T/F: Interest groups are prohibited from lobbying the executive branch of the federal government.

False

T/F: The Clayton Act of 1914 allowed unions to organize free from prosecution and also guaranteed their members' right to strike.

True

T/F: Membership in labor unions has increased over the last several decades.

False

T/F: Most politically active organizations use lobbying to make their interests known to government officials.

True

T/F: As described in the "Union Membership" box, union membership is higher among public sector employees than private sector employees.

True

T/F: The National Rifle Association is an example of a trade association.

False

T/F: Pluralism has been challenged on the basis of the fact that political resources and power are unequally distributed within society.

True

T/F: Once a bill becomes law, lobbyists typically leave the implementation up to the executive branch.

False

T/F: Lobbying the judicial branch is more heavily regulated than lobbying Congress.

False

T/F: As part of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, interest groups are now barred from sponsoring and paying judges to attend "informational conferences."

False

T/F: A pluralist would view the presence and activities of lobbyists in Washington, D.C., as harmful to the functioning of our political system.

False

T/F: If James Madison were alive today, he would most likely view the rapid growth of interest groups over the past several decades as a positive development.

False

T/F: Public interest groups engage primarily in grassroots lobbying, whereas business groups focus mainly on direct lobbying of government officials.

False

In __________, James Madison expressed concerns about the harmful effects of factions.

Federalist No. 10

__________ are organizations that seek to influence public policy.

Interest groups

The __________ problem occurs when people fail to join a group because they can receive the benefits the group offers without contributing to the group's efforts.

free rider or collective action

__________ refers to communicating with government officials to persuade them to support a particular policy decision.

Lobbying

As discussed in Madison's Federalist No. 10, a(n) __________ is a group of individuals concerned more with their self-interest than with the rights of individuals outside the group or with the needs of society as a whole.

faction

According to the theory of __________, political power is distributed across a wide range of diverse and competing interest groups.

pluralism

As described in the box entitled "The Living Constitution," freedom of association is guaranteed in the __________ Amendment to the Constitution.

First

An environmental group works to pass legislation that would decrease air pollution. But an individual would probably not contribute to that group, especially if he/she could enjoy the benefits of breathing clean air without participating in the group's campaign. This is an example of the __________ problem.

free rider or collective action

One way that interest groups can influence court cases they are interested in is by filing a(n) __________.

amicus curiae or friend of the court brief

One function of __________ is to provide legislators with information about an interest group's position on a specific bill or issue.

lobbyists

Common Cause, an organization that pushes for openness and fairness in government, is an example of a(n) __________ group.

public interest

An interest group holding a demonstration outside the White House is an example of __________.

grassroots or outside lobbying

An interest group seeking to influence the rule-making process would most likely lobby the __________ branch of the federal government.

executive

One of two states with the highest union membership in the United States is __________.

Alaska or New York

Given that members of Congress often lack technical expertise in particular policy areas, they depend on lobbyists to supply them with __________.

information

Explain the difference between grassroots/outside lobbying and lobbying members of Congress directly.

1. Describe grassroots/outside lobbying as a technique that places pressure on elected officials using group members and/or general public opinion. 2. Provide at least one example of grassroots/outside lobbying: petitions, letter-writing campaigns, protests and demonstrations, and/or use of the mass media. 3. Explain the main difference between grassroots and direct lobbying, which is that grassroots lobbying relies on public/external pressure and does not require inside access, whereas direct lobbying of members of Congress depends on building personal relationships with congressional members and does require groups to gain inside access.

Discuss the role of interest groups in elections.

1. Explain that influencing elections is important to many interest groups as a way to get candidates elected who are friendly to their policy positions. 2. Describe one or more specific ways that interest groups influence elections, such as by endorsing candidates, by providing volunteers, or through campaign contributions.

How do interest groups seek to influence the executive branch, and what goals do they pursue in doing so?

1. Explain that groups can lobby the president, White House staff, and/or specific bureaucratic agencies. 2. Describe the major techniques that groups use, such as issuing reports and offering testimony at administrative hearings. 3. Describe one or more objectives of interest groups in lobbying the executive branch, including either tightening or loosening regulations, influencing statutory interpretations by agencies, and influencing agency budgets.

Referring to the examples in Table 15.1, distinguish between public interest groups and economic groups and provide examples of each.

1. Describe public interest groups as groups that seek collective goods or to provide benefits for society as a whole. 2. Describe economic groups as groups that represent the interests of particular firms or businesses within an industry. 3. Provide one or more examples of actual public interest groups. 4. Provide one or more examples of actual economic groups, such as specific corporations or trade associations.

What is the free rider/collective action problem? Describe one way that an interest group can overcome this problem.

1. Explain that the free rider/collective action problem occurs when individuals can receive the benefits of collective action without having to contribute to the effort. As a result, they have no incentive to participate. 2. Describe one way that an interest group can overcome this problem, such as by providing material benefits or other incentives to members. These benefits can be reserved to those who contribute, thus creating an incentive for individuals to join the group.

Discuss the advantages of contributing to a political action committee (PAC) over making an individual contribution to a political candidate.

1. Explain that PACs combine several individual contributions, resulting in a larger total contribution to a candidate than what one individual could do alone. 2. Note that because PAC contributions are larger, they tend to attract more attention from members of Congress.

Discuss the role of political action committees (PACs) in terms of their influence on elections and the extent to which they shape government policy.

1. Note that PACs are a significant component to the election campaigns of most members of Congress. As a result, they are highly influential in elections. 2. Discuss the effects that PAC contributions have on the day-to-day activities of elected officials. PACs are able to gain access, but not necessarily secure favorable votes, in return for their contributions.

According to the theory of pluralism, what role do interest groups play in shaping government policy? Does the theory assume that one set of interests dominates over others in this process?

1. Explain that pluralism is based on the notion that government is heavily influenced by the demands of interest groups. 2. Discuss the process by which groups compete with each other. Given that the political system is open, groups are able to form and compete with one another, and government decisions reflect the balance of competing interests. 3. Note that the theory does not assume that one set of interests is always dominant; the political system is presumed to be open to all kinds of interests.

Discuss the relationship between lobbyists and members of Congress in terms of what each offers the other.

1. Explain that lobbyists seek to gain access to and the support of members of Congress on key legislation. 2. Explain that members of Congress grant access to lobbyists because lobbyists provide them with campaign contributions and can offer them technical expertise and information on issues they may be unfamiliar with.

Discuss Madison's views on factions, as expressed in Federalist No. 10, and how he would respond to the tremendous growth in the number of interest groups actively lobbying in Washington, D.C., over the past several decades.

1. Explain that Madison was distrustful of factions, defined as groups pursuing their own interest at the expense of the broader public good. 2. Explain that Madison believed that factions must be allowed, but that government could be designed so that no single faction becomes too dominant. 3. Provide a logical position that Madison might take in light of the preceding points. For instance, he would likely be disheartened by the proliferation of groups, but still adamant that they should be able to exist.

The theory of pluralism assumes that government policy reflects the balance of competing interest groups. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this theory?

1. Identify one or more strengths of pluralism, such as the fact that the theory highlights the importance of interest groups in policy making and explains the dynamics of interest group competition. 2. Identify one or more weaknesses of pluralism, including the fact that groups do not always form in response to grievances and that wealthy interests tend to predominate.

Studies have shown that political action committees (PACs) contribute disproportionately to incumbent candidates. Why do PACs pursue this strategy in their campaign contributions? Are there any potential drawbacks?

1. Explain that PACs are strategic in how they invest their funds; they want to get the most impact out of their contributions. 2. Note that incumbent candidates are more likely to win, so groups that donate to PACs are more likely to gain access to elected officials after the election. 3. Explain one or more drawbacks to this strategy, including the possibility that the challenger will win and groups will not have the same type of access to the newly elected officials.

What types of organizations engage in grassroots/outside lobbying, and why do they do so? Why is grassroots lobbying effective?

1. Note that all kinds of organizations use this tactic, though public interest groups engage in grassroots lobbying more often. 2. Provide a logical reason to explain why a group might use this tactic, such as when a group is working on a particularly pressing issue or is unable to gain direct access to lawmakers. 3. Explain that grassroots lobbying places pressure on elected officials via public opinion, and elected officials are known to respond to public opinion.

Why has the government attempted to regulate lobbyist activity? Discuss some recent reform efforts and identify some of the gaps that remain in disclosure of lobbying activity.

1. Explain how the government attempted to regulate lobbyist activity because Americans believed the Congressional votes could be bought. 2. Describe the Lobbying Disclosure Act and the Honest Leadership, Open Government Act of 2007, and Ethics in Government Act. 3. Explain how Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 only applied to private lobbyists. 4. Explain how there are not many regulations on interest group participation before the Supreme Court.

Why do small groups have an organizational advantage over large groups in terms of their ability to enroll potential members?

1. Define potential members as individuals who stand to benefit from the activities of an interest group. 2. Note that interest groups must deal with the free rider problem, whereby potential members may fail to join a group because they can get the benefit sought by the group without contributing to the effort. 3. Explain that small organizations have an advantage because any individual's share of the collective good may be great enough to make it rational for him or her to join.

Describe the evolution of the interest group system in American politics since the beginning of the twentieth century.

1. Discuss the growth and increasing importance of interest groups in American politics. 2. Point to trends in the evolution of specific types of groups, including the rise of labor unions in the early twentieth century and the explosion of public interest groups since the 1960s. 3. Discuss the increasing importance of interest group involvement in campaigns through political action committees. 4. Note that despite the huge growth in all types of interest groups, business interests continue to outnumber other types of groups in terms of their lobbying presence in Washington, D.C.

You are the leader of a student organization working to pass federal legislation that would increase financial aid to college students. What specific strategies could you employ to overcome the free rider/collective action problem in order to build your organization and increase your political clout?

1. Describe the free rider problem as a situation in which individuals can benefit from the group effort without having to contribute to it. As a result, individuals have no incentive to join the group. 2. Identify what kinds of individuals would be likely to free ride in this case: college students who receive or are eligible to receive financial aid. 3. Explain one or more tactics that could be used to convince these students to join the organization. To overcome the free rider problem, the group must offer some kind of incentive—material or otherwise—that is given only to group members.

In Federalist No. 10, Madison expressed concerns about what he called "factions." What are some examples of modern-day factions, and is it true that these factions pursue their self-interest at the expense of the broader public interest, as Madison assumed?

1. Explain Madison's views about factions, which he defined as groups pursuing their self-interest at the expense of the broader public good. 2. Provide multiple of examples of modern-day groups that would be considered factions, such as specific interest groups, political action committees (PACs), or even political parties. 3. Explain what goals each "faction" pursues and evaluate whether the group's activities work against the public good.

In recent years, political action committee (PAC) contributions have become increasingly important in federal elections. In light of the influence of PAC money on elections and policy making, is this trend a sign of a healthy democracy, or is it a troubling development?

1. Explain what a PAC is: an organization that collects contributions from multiple individuals and distributes them to political candidates. 2. Discuss the rise of PACs since the 1970s and provide examples of specific PACs. 3. Explain and evaluate some of the implications of PACs for elections, including the fact that most congressional candidates depend on PAC money to get elected and the fact that PACs contribute disproportionately to incumbents. 4. Discuss and evaluate the influence of PACs on policy making, including the fact that PACs gain access to elected officials but are not guaranteed influence. 5. Articulate a position regarding whether PACs are good or bad for democratic governance, based on the influence of PACs on elections and policy making.

Does pluralism or transactions theory provide a more accurate representation of the interest group system today?

1. Describe pluralism as a theory that assumes that political power is distributed among a wide range of diverse and competing interests. 2. Describe the major assumption of transactions theory, which is that public policies are the result of narrowly defined exchanges among political actors. 3. Explain how transactions theory contrasts with pluralism: given that those individuals with more time and money have lower transaction costs, they are more likely to be politically active, thus creating bias in the interest group system. 4. Argue which theory is a more accurate representation of interest group politics today, providing one or more examples of actual interest groups as support.

Ch 15 Interest Groups - Subjecto.com

Ch 15 Interest Groups

Your page rank:

Total word count: 4011
Pages: 15

Calculate the Price

- -
275 words
Looking for Expert Opinion?
Let us have a look at your work and suggest how to improve it!
Get a Consultant

In Federalist No. 10, James Madison described how a government could be designed to control the effects of __________.

factions

When a case that an interest group is interested in, but not actually sponsoring, comes before a court, the group can __________.

file an amicus curiae brief to present the group’s analysis of the case

Grassroots lobbying is best defined as __________.

getting the media to cover an issue

Which of the following raise money from individuals and then distribute it in the form of contributions to political candidates?

political action committees

According to Madison’s Federalist No. 10, a(n) __________ is a group of individuals concerned more with their self-interest than with the rights of individuals outside the group or with the needs of society as a whole.

faction

Since the 1970s, political action committee (PAC) contributions have __________.

a. become increasingly important in congressional elections

A(n) __________ refers to an organization that seeks to influence public policy.

interest group

What is lobbying?

communicating with government officials to persuade them to support a particular policy position

The __________ problem occurs when people fail to join a group because they can get the benefits the group offers without contributing to the group’s efforts.

free rider

What is a trade association?

an organization that represents businesses within a specific industry

What is a public interest group?

a group that works to gain benefits for society as a whole

In order to overcome the free rider problem, many interest groups offer material benefits. What are material benefits?

benefits given only to group members

What is an amicus curiae brief?

a written argument submitted to a court in support of one side of a case

Which of the following is the main type of organization that lobbies on behalf of workers?

labor union

What is the main objective of most labor unions?

to protect jobs and secure favorable wages and benefits for their members

What is a political action committee (PAC)?

an organization that solicits campaign contributions and distributes them to political candidates

Which of the following is a provision of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007?

lobbying disclosure requirements

Which of the following is an example of a public interest group?

a consumer rights group

Who engages in grassroots or outside lobbying?

a wide range of interest groups, including public interest groups and business groups

Which of the following is an example of a trade association?

the National Association of Manufacturers

Which of the following is an example of an economic interest group?

the Chamber of Commerce

What type of group is a trade association?

an economic interest group

How did Madison propose to overcome the problem of factions in Federalist No. 10?

by adopting a system of representative government

Which of the following is an example of grassroots/outside lobbying?

a petition sent to representatives in Congress

How do lobbyists typically seek to influence members of Congress?

by providing technical expertise on policy issues

How do interest groups lobby the courts?

by bringing lawsuits to the courts on behalf of classes of citizens

How do interest groups lobby the executive branch?

by appearing at administrative hearings to offer information

Which of the following is an example of the free rider (or collective action) problem?

an environmental group struggling to raise funds for a "clean air" campaign

Critics of pluralism have noted that __________.

resources and political power are unequally distributed within society

Which of the following is an assumption of pluralism?

Interest groups are integral to government decisions.

Members of Congress who receive contributions from political action committees (PACs) __________.

make sure that the PACs are granted access to the members and their staff

Which of the following is an example of a faction, as conceptualized by Madison in Federalist No. 10?

interest group

An interest group filing an amicus curiae brief is an example of __________.

lobbying the judicial branch

Which of the following is an activity that lobbyists regularly engage in?

providing elected officials with information about an interest group’s position on a bill or issue

Which of the following factors was instrumental in bringing about the first national interest groups in the United States?

improvements in communication networks

Which of the following is a way that interest groups seek to influence elections?

recruiting and training candidates

Why do interest groups typically offer material benefits to their members?

to overcome the free rider/collective action problem

How might pluralism serve to enhance democracy?

by ensuring that no single interest becomes dominant

How does grassroots/outside lobbying differ from other efforts by interest groups to influence government?

Grassroots/outside lobbying focuses more than other forms of advocacy on influencing public opinion to support groups’ goals.

How does lobbying the executive branch differ from lobbying Congress?

Lobbying the executive branch focuses more on rule making, whereas lobbying Congress focuses more on pending legislation.

Why are campaign contributions so important for interest groups seeking to influence government?

Campaign contributions help elect candidates who are friendly to groups’ goals.

You are the leader of an environmental organization working to address the problem of climate change. Given the free rider problem, what would be the most effective way to get others to join your cause?

Offer an incentive, such as a t-shirt, to those who join the campaign.

How does lobbying Congress differ from lobbying the judicial branch?

Lobbyists often meet personally with members of Congress, whereas they cannot meet with judges.

How does lobbying the executive branch differ from lobbying the judicial branch?

Lobbying the executive branch may involve grassroots/outside lobbying, whereas lobbying the courts typically does not.

You are the leader of a consumer rights group that has been unable to get a meeting with your elected representative in Congress. How could you get the attention of your legislator on the issues your group cares about?

Organize a demonstration in the representative’s district and invite the media.

How is lobbying the executive branch similar to lobbying the courts?

Both can involve lobbying related to the implementation of an existing policy.

How is lobbying Congress similar to lobbying the courts?

Both are commonly used strategies of interest groups seeking to influence public policy.

You are a policy analyst in the Department of Energy. You were just offered a job with a renewable energy company. How long must you wait before you can lobby the Department of Energy on behalf of your new employer?

2 years

Why is grassroots/outside lobbying an effective political tactic?

Grassroots lobbying shapes public opinion, and elected officials are known to respond to public opinion.

Which of the following, if true, would indicate that grassroots/outside lobbying is an ineffective political tactic?

Policy makers primarily work to satisfy the demands of their wealthiest campaign contributors. As a result, they rarely respond to broader public opinion.

Why was Madison particularly concerned about factions in Federalist No. 10?

He believed that factions pursuing their self-interest would work against the broader public interest.

To which of the following might political action committees (PACs) invest their contributions in order to maximize their political influence?

campaigns of incumbents

Political action committees (PACs) are an attractive option for campaign contributions because __________.

they combine many individual contributions, resulting in one large contribution that is greater than what one individual could do alone

Which type of organization would find it easiest to overcome the free rider/collective action problem?

a trade association representing a small number of firms

Which of the following statements, if true, would undermine the theory of pluralism?

Individuals with shared grievances do not always come together to form interest groups.

What did the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 achieve?

a ban on gifts and honoraria to members of Congress and their staffs

Which of the following conditions, if true, would eliminate the free rider/collective action problem?

if participation in an interest group were mandatory

Which of the following statements, if true, would confirm the theory of pluralism?

Elected officials seek out the opinions of multiple interest groups when creating policy.

Interest groups are important subjects of study in American politics because __________.

they provide a venue for citizens to participate in government

Why do small interest groups have an easier time enrolling potential members than large interest groups?

In a small group, any individual’s share of the collective good may be great enough to make it rational for him or her to join.

T/F: According to the theory of pluralism, political power is distributed across a wide range of diverse and competing interest groups.

True

T/F: In recent years, political action committees (PACs) have declined as vehicles for campaign contributions.

False

T/F: Interest groups are prohibited from lobbying the executive branch of the federal government.

False

T/F: The Clayton Act of 1914 allowed unions to organize free from prosecution and also guaranteed their members’ right to strike.

True

T/F: Membership in labor unions has increased over the last several decades.

False

T/F: Most politically active organizations use lobbying to make their interests known to government officials.

True

T/F: As described in the "Union Membership" box, union membership is higher among public sector employees than private sector employees.

True

T/F: The National Rifle Association is an example of a trade association.

False

T/F: Pluralism has been challenged on the basis of the fact that political resources and power are unequally distributed within society.

True

T/F: Once a bill becomes law, lobbyists typically leave the implementation up to the executive branch.

False

T/F: Lobbying the judicial branch is more heavily regulated than lobbying Congress.

False

T/F: As part of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, interest groups are now barred from sponsoring and paying judges to attend "informational conferences."

False

T/F: A pluralist would view the presence and activities of lobbyists in Washington, D.C., as harmful to the functioning of our political system.

False

T/F: If James Madison were alive today, he would most likely view the rapid growth of interest groups over the past several decades as a positive development.

False

T/F: Public interest groups engage primarily in grassroots lobbying, whereas business groups focus mainly on direct lobbying of government officials.

False

In __________, James Madison expressed concerns about the harmful effects of factions.

Federalist No. 10

__________ are organizations that seek to influence public policy.

Interest groups

The __________ problem occurs when people fail to join a group because they can receive the benefits the group offers without contributing to the group’s efforts.

free rider or collective action

__________ refers to communicating with government officials to persuade them to support a particular policy decision.

Lobbying

As discussed in Madison’s Federalist No. 10, a(n) __________ is a group of individuals concerned more with their self-interest than with the rights of individuals outside the group or with the needs of society as a whole.

faction

According to the theory of __________, political power is distributed across a wide range of diverse and competing interest groups.

pluralism

As described in the box entitled "The Living Constitution," freedom of association is guaranteed in the __________ Amendment to the Constitution.

First

An environmental group works to pass legislation that would decrease air pollution. But an individual would probably not contribute to that group, especially if he/she could enjoy the benefits of breathing clean air without participating in the group’s campaign. This is an example of the __________ problem.

free rider or collective action

One way that interest groups can influence court cases they are interested in is by filing a(n) __________.

amicus curiae or friend of the court brief

One function of __________ is to provide legislators with information about an interest group’s position on a specific bill or issue.

lobbyists

Common Cause, an organization that pushes for openness and fairness in government, is an example of a(n) __________ group.

public interest

An interest group holding a demonstration outside the White House is an example of __________.

grassroots or outside lobbying

An interest group seeking to influence the rule-making process would most likely lobby the __________ branch of the federal government.

executive

One of two states with the highest union membership in the United States is __________.

Alaska or New York

Given that members of Congress often lack technical expertise in particular policy areas, they depend on lobbyists to supply them with __________.

information

Explain the difference between grassroots/outside lobbying and lobbying members of Congress directly.

1. Describe grassroots/outside lobbying as a technique that places pressure on elected officials using group members and/or general public opinion. 2. Provide at least one example of grassroots/outside lobbying: petitions, letter-writing campaigns, protests and demonstrations, and/or use of the mass media. 3. Explain the main difference between grassroots and direct lobbying, which is that grassroots lobbying relies on public/external pressure and does not require inside access, whereas direct lobbying of members of Congress depends on building personal relationships with congressional members and does require groups to gain inside access.

Discuss the role of interest groups in elections.

1. Explain that influencing elections is important to many interest groups as a way to get candidates elected who are friendly to their policy positions. 2. Describe one or more specific ways that interest groups influence elections, such as by endorsing candidates, by providing volunteers, or through campaign contributions.

How do interest groups seek to influence the executive branch, and what goals do they pursue in doing so?

1. Explain that groups can lobby the president, White House staff, and/or specific bureaucratic agencies. 2. Describe the major techniques that groups use, such as issuing reports and offering testimony at administrative hearings. 3. Describe one or more objectives of interest groups in lobbying the executive branch, including either tightening or loosening regulations, influencing statutory interpretations by agencies, and influencing agency budgets.

Referring to the examples in Table 15.1, distinguish between public interest groups and economic groups and provide examples of each.

1. Describe public interest groups as groups that seek collective goods or to provide benefits for society as a whole. 2. Describe economic groups as groups that represent the interests of particular firms or businesses within an industry. 3. Provide one or more examples of actual public interest groups. 4. Provide one or more examples of actual economic groups, such as specific corporations or trade associations.

What is the free rider/collective action problem? Describe one way that an interest group can overcome this problem.

1. Explain that the free rider/collective action problem occurs when individuals can receive the benefits of collective action without having to contribute to the effort. As a result, they have no incentive to participate. 2. Describe one way that an interest group can overcome this problem, such as by providing material benefits or other incentives to members. These benefits can be reserved to those who contribute, thus creating an incentive for individuals to join the group.

Discuss the advantages of contributing to a political action committee (PAC) over making an individual contribution to a political candidate.

1. Explain that PACs combine several individual contributions, resulting in a larger total contribution to a candidate than what one individual could do alone. 2. Note that because PAC contributions are larger, they tend to attract more attention from members of Congress.

Discuss the role of political action committees (PACs) in terms of their influence on elections and the extent to which they shape government policy.

1. Note that PACs are a significant component to the election campaigns of most members of Congress. As a result, they are highly influential in elections. 2. Discuss the effects that PAC contributions have on the day-to-day activities of elected officials. PACs are able to gain access, but not necessarily secure favorable votes, in return for their contributions.

According to the theory of pluralism, what role do interest groups play in shaping government policy? Does the theory assume that one set of interests dominates over others in this process?

1. Explain that pluralism is based on the notion that government is heavily influenced by the demands of interest groups. 2. Discuss the process by which groups compete with each other. Given that the political system is open, groups are able to form and compete with one another, and government decisions reflect the balance of competing interests. 3. Note that the theory does not assume that one set of interests is always dominant; the political system is presumed to be open to all kinds of interests.

Discuss the relationship between lobbyists and members of Congress in terms of what each offers the other.

1. Explain that lobbyists seek to gain access to and the support of members of Congress on key legislation. 2. Explain that members of Congress grant access to lobbyists because lobbyists provide them with campaign contributions and can offer them technical expertise and information on issues they may be unfamiliar with.

Discuss Madison’s views on factions, as expressed in Federalist No. 10, and how he would respond to the tremendous growth in the number of interest groups actively lobbying in Washington, D.C., over the past several decades.

1. Explain that Madison was distrustful of factions, defined as groups pursuing their own interest at the expense of the broader public good. 2. Explain that Madison believed that factions must be allowed, but that government could be designed so that no single faction becomes too dominant. 3. Provide a logical position that Madison might take in light of the preceding points. For instance, he would likely be disheartened by the proliferation of groups, but still adamant that they should be able to exist.

The theory of pluralism assumes that government policy reflects the balance of competing interest groups. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this theory?

1. Identify one or more strengths of pluralism, such as the fact that the theory highlights the importance of interest groups in policy making and explains the dynamics of interest group competition. 2. Identify one or more weaknesses of pluralism, including the fact that groups do not always form in response to grievances and that wealthy interests tend to predominate.

Studies have shown that political action committees (PACs) contribute disproportionately to incumbent candidates. Why do PACs pursue this strategy in their campaign contributions? Are there any potential drawbacks?

1. Explain that PACs are strategic in how they invest their funds; they want to get the most impact out of their contributions. 2. Note that incumbent candidates are more likely to win, so groups that donate to PACs are more likely to gain access to elected officials after the election. 3. Explain one or more drawbacks to this strategy, including the possibility that the challenger will win and groups will not have the same type of access to the newly elected officials.

What types of organizations engage in grassroots/outside lobbying, and why do they do so? Why is grassroots lobbying effective?

1. Note that all kinds of organizations use this tactic, though public interest groups engage in grassroots lobbying more often. 2. Provide a logical reason to explain why a group might use this tactic, such as when a group is working on a particularly pressing issue or is unable to gain direct access to lawmakers. 3. Explain that grassroots lobbying places pressure on elected officials via public opinion, and elected officials are known to respond to public opinion.

Why has the government attempted to regulate lobbyist activity? Discuss some recent reform efforts and identify some of the gaps that remain in disclosure of lobbying activity.

1. Explain how the government attempted to regulate lobbyist activity because Americans believed the Congressional votes could be bought. 2. Describe the Lobbying Disclosure Act and the Honest Leadership, Open Government Act of 2007, and Ethics in Government Act. 3. Explain how Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 only applied to private lobbyists. 4. Explain how there are not many regulations on interest group participation before the Supreme Court.

Why do small groups have an organizational advantage over large groups in terms of their ability to enroll potential members?

1. Define potential members as individuals who stand to benefit from the activities of an interest group. 2. Note that interest groups must deal with the free rider problem, whereby potential members may fail to join a group because they can get the benefit sought by the group without contributing to the effort. 3. Explain that small organizations have an advantage because any individual’s share of the collective good may be great enough to make it rational for him or her to join.

Describe the evolution of the interest group system in American politics since the beginning of the twentieth century.

1. Discuss the growth and increasing importance of interest groups in American politics. 2. Point to trends in the evolution of specific types of groups, including the rise of labor unions in the early twentieth century and the explosion of public interest groups since the 1960s. 3. Discuss the increasing importance of interest group involvement in campaigns through political action committees. 4. Note that despite the huge growth in all types of interest groups, business interests continue to outnumber other types of groups in terms of their lobbying presence in Washington, D.C.

You are the leader of a student organization working to pass federal legislation that would increase financial aid to college students. What specific strategies could you employ to overcome the free rider/collective action problem in order to build your organization and increase your political clout?

1. Describe the free rider problem as a situation in which individuals can benefit from the group effort without having to contribute to it. As a result, individuals have no incentive to join the group. 2. Identify what kinds of individuals would be likely to free ride in this case: college students who receive or are eligible to receive financial aid. 3. Explain one or more tactics that could be used to convince these students to join the organization. To overcome the free rider problem, the group must offer some kind of incentive—material or otherwise—that is given only to group members.

In Federalist No. 10, Madison expressed concerns about what he called "factions." What are some examples of modern-day factions, and is it true that these factions pursue their self-interest at the expense of the broader public interest, as Madison assumed?

1. Explain Madison’s views about factions, which he defined as groups pursuing their self-interest at the expense of the broader public good. 2. Provide multiple of examples of modern-day groups that would be considered factions, such as specific interest groups, political action committees (PACs), or even political parties. 3. Explain what goals each "faction" pursues and evaluate whether the group’s activities work against the public good.

In recent years, political action committee (PAC) contributions have become increasingly important in federal elections. In light of the influence of PAC money on elections and policy making, is this trend a sign of a healthy democracy, or is it a troubling development?

1. Explain what a PAC is: an organization that collects contributions from multiple individuals and distributes them to political candidates. 2. Discuss the rise of PACs since the 1970s and provide examples of specific PACs. 3. Explain and evaluate some of the implications of PACs for elections, including the fact that most congressional candidates depend on PAC money to get elected and the fact that PACs contribute disproportionately to incumbents. 4. Discuss and evaluate the influence of PACs on policy making, including the fact that PACs gain access to elected officials but are not guaranteed influence. 5. Articulate a position regarding whether PACs are good or bad for democratic governance, based on the influence of PACs on elections and policy making.

Does pluralism or transactions theory provide a more accurate representation of the interest group system today?

1. Describe pluralism as a theory that assumes that political power is distributed among a wide range of diverse and competing interests. 2. Describe the major assumption of transactions theory, which is that public policies are the result of narrowly defined exchanges among political actors. 3. Explain how transactions theory contrasts with pluralism: given that those individuals with more time and money have lower transaction costs, they are more likely to be politically active, thus creating bias in the interest group system. 4. Argue which theory is a more accurate representation of interest group politics today, providing one or more examples of actual interest groups as support.

Share This
Flashcard

More flashcards like this

NCLEX 10000 Integumentary Disorders

When assessing a client with partial-thickness burns over 60% of the body, which finding should the nurse report immediately? a) ...

Read more

NCLEX 300-NEURO

A client with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) tells the nurse, "Sometimes I feel so frustrated. I can’t do anything without ...

Read more

NASM Flashcards

Which of the following is the process of getting oxygen from the environment to the tissues of the body? Diffusion ...

Read more

Unfinished tasks keep piling up?

Let us complete them for you. Quickly and professionally.

Check Price

Successful message
sending