Chapter 11 Groups and Interests

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The best description of the ideal of pluralism is that

interests should be free to compete with each other for governmental influence.

Which of the following is a main theoretical assumption of pluralism?

Competition among interests will produce balance, with all interests regulating each other.

Which of the following is not a function of interest groups?

to get their members elected to political office

Organized interest groups enhance American democracy by

representing the interests of large numbers of people and encouraging political participation

Members of interest groups in the United States are typically people

with higher levels of income and education.

A criticism of interest-group pluralism is

its class bias in favor of those with greater financial resources.

What are political parties more capable of doing than interest groups?

organizing people on a mass scale

A benefit that is sought by an interest group and that once achieved cannot be denied to nonmembers is called a

free rider

The free-rider phenomenon

becomes increasingly problematic in very large groups.

Why is it important for interest groups to offer selective benefits?

It is necessary to limit the extent of the free-rider problem

One way that the AARP has been effective at overcoming the free-rider problem is by providing ________ benefits to its members.


Since the 1930s, the number and scale of interest groups at the national level has

dramatically increased.

The increased number and importance of interest groups

is a response to an increase in the size and activity of government.

What distinguishes lobbying from other strategies of influence?

Lobbyists try to exert pressure directly on governmental officials themselves

What is the most important and beneficial resource that lobbyists provide government officials?


The practice of lobbying is protected by

the first amendment

Which of the following statements about lobbyists and members of Congress is incorrect?

Members of Congress are forbidden from ever working for an interest group once they leave office.

Parties with a direct interest in a regulatory rule or decision are often termed


An iron triangle is made up of an alliance between

a legislative committee, an interest group, and an executive agency

How can interest groups use litigation as a strategy of influence?

filing amici curiae briefs, financing lawsuits, and bringing a suit on behalf of the group

When interest groups take out advertisements and hold marches, these are examples of

mobilizing public opinion.

A grassroots lobbying campaign occurs

When an interest group mobilizes its members and their families throughout the country to write their representatives in support of the group’s position.

When interest groups generate phony letters and phone calls in order to resemble a grassroots movement, this technique is called

astroturf lobbying.

What is the primary function of a political action committee (PAC)?

serve as fund-raising organizations for challengers

Interest groups are permitted to spend as much money as they want on issue advocacy during a campaign season, as long as they

do not coordinate their efforts with a candidate’s own campaign organization.

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