An interest group is usually a group of people who share common interest in a particular mission and work together to manipulate the public strategy in order to favour its own interest. In other words, these people come together and try influencing politics or the government policies in a manner that helps their personal interests. Interest groups normally play significant roles in determining public policies which influence business practices. Throughout history, people have had powerful tradition of willingly coming together with an aim to enforce their rights, support a cause or for financial benefit. Such an act of unity to attain a shared objective happens in every type of political system. This is because to navigate a political terrain so as to impact public policy is usually very difficult or even almost impossible when alone. In this case, many individuals gather with one objective to form an interest group.
Example of interest groups
Public: This form of interest group endeavours to achieve benefits for the society at large. The groups are normally related to influence either environment, rights of animals or else civil rights. The groups comprises of groups such as American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Greenpeace and others.
Private: This kind of group tries to get benefit for their associates. Such groups comprise of a broad range of associations that include professional groups like American Bar Association.
Economic groups: These form of groups work toward financial improvement for its associates. They include labour union groups and special interest groups, like National Rifle Association, as well as specialized groups, such as American Bar Association.
Purposes they serve in American Politics
The two party system in America means that the political parties must deal with wide range of matters. Individuals appealing in one issue can find that no party places main concern on matters they mind about. Therefore, interest groups are formed to campaign for specific laws, ruling and policies. National Rifle Association, one of the strongest interest groups in America campaigns for gun human rights. On the other hand, environmental interest groups influence politicians as well as their fundraising capacity and provoked membership influences politicians to insist for legislation that they endorse. Interest groups in some cases, can from political parties for themselves.
The main distinction between political parties and interest groups is the function that every side serves. A political party exists to attain power over government policy through winning election for political office. This is done by support of aspirants for offices as well as assisting them to win elections by fundraising and advertising. They normally have official views on a broad variety of matters which are subject to change. The goal of interest group is to advertise a vacancy on a specific issue, like gun control. In addition, unlike the political parties, the interest groups normally do not require their associates run for an office. Likewise, they do their elections in an unbiased way, giving support to aspirants who endorse their decision.
One of the major direct techniques used by interest groups is known as lobbying. This is whereby a person attempts directly influencing legislation through interaction with the government officials. Some of direct relations that lobbyists can have with government officials comprise private meetings, to testify during agency and committee meetings, consultation regarding legislation drafts as well as providing legislators with political information about proposed bills.
In this case, Interest groups try influencing government policies by functioning through others who could be part of the public. These techniques are meant to disguise the activities of interest groups and make an effort to appear as spontaneous. Additionally, legislators have a tendency to look more positively upon their members instead of lobbyist of interest group.