Democracy and Interest Groups: Enhancing Participation? by William Maloney, Grant Jordan, Emma Clarence

By William Maloney, Grant Jordan, Emma Clarence

How are curiosity teams shaped and the way do they retain themselves? curiosity crew Politics addresses the connection among curiosity teams and political events in numerous nations and assesses the effect of the expansion within the variety of teams within the coverage making method.

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Membership-based groups As discussed above, the democracy term has been identified as being less self-defining than is often assumed, so too with ‘interest group’. The apparent ubiquity of interest groups is a consequence of their policy relevance – in shaping political agendas and in contributing to the drafting of the details of policy – and, of course, reflects their numerical proliferation and bewildering diversity. Accordingly, the task of recognition and labelling is tricky: for example, the recent discussion of a tax on carrier bags in Scotland in 2005 ‘flushed-out’ organizations such as the UK Carrier Bag Consortium, the British Plastics Federation, the Packaging and Industrial Films Association and the British Polythene Industries plc and Simpac.

As Gerring (2001: 38) notes there is a temptation ‘just to get on with it’ in social science research, but a ‘blithely empirical approach to social science’ only complicates matters when there is doubt about the cumulative nature of research after the use of idiosyncratic definitions and concepts (quoted in Thomas, 2005: 858). Recognizing the interest group beast when it is seen may be easier than defining it in the abstract. The latter is trickier than it may initially appear. The broad-brush labelling of interest groups runs from organizations hierarchically, bureaucratically and professionally structured with large economic resources, to informal bodies in their nascent stage of Looking for Democracy in Groups 27 development that may be resource poor and activist-based, to private companies, to public organizations, etc.

He maintained that the costs to participants clearly outweigh any potential pay-off: that is the possibility of an individual’s vote being pivotal is infinitesimally small, so the rational person would simply not bother: it can be shown to be irrational for individuals to vote at all whenever more than a handful of other voters are involved. 7 Olson’s work (1965) is the platform for Rational Choice Theory (RCT) discussions in the group field. His theory was a reaction to the traditional view articulated by Truman (1951) that when a political, social or economic problem impinged significantly on the life of a citizen, they would soon become aware that the difficulty was a shared concern, and would spontaneously combine with others around this common interest.

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