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Approaching Democracy chapter 11


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actual groups
interest groups that have already been formed; they have headquarters, an organizational structure, paid employees, membership lists, and the like.
collective action
the political action of individuals who unite to influence policy
according to james madison in THe Federalist, no 10: "a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse or passion or interests"
free riders
members who invest no money or time in an interest group but still share in the collective benefits of group action
grassroots activity
teh rallyin of group members, as well as the public, behind a lobby's cause
a condition in which major government initiatives are impossible because a closely balanced partisan division in the government structure, accompanied by an unwillingness to work together toward compromise, produces a stalemate
group maintenance
activities by an interest group designed to affect policy. includes enrolling new members and providing benefits for them
interest roups
formal organizations of people who share a common outlook or social circumstance and who band together in the hope of influencing government policy
iron triangles
informal three-way relationships that develop among key legislative committees, the bureaucracy, and interest groups with a vested interest in the policies created by those committees and agencies
issue advertisements
advertisements in a political campaign funded by an interest group advocating a position on an issue but technically not supporting a specific candidate
the formal, organized attempt to influence legislation, usually through direct contact with legislators or their staff
groups of people joined in a cyber-society for political purposes
policy entrepreneurs
leaders who invest in, and who create the conditions for, a potential group to become an actual interest group. ralph nader stands as a classic example of a policy entrepreneur.
policy networks
networks characterized by a wide-ranging discussion of options as issues are resolved, ocnveying a more inclusive and less conspiratorial image of the policy process than iron triangles do
political action committees (PACs)
committees formed as the fund-raising and financial distribution arm of specific interest groups.
potential groups
interest groups that could form under the right circumstances; as yet, they have no substantive form and my never have one, but they cannot be discounted by political participants
public interest groups
groups that focus not on the immediate economic livelihood of their members, but on achieving a broad set of goals that represent their members' vision of the collective good. examples include the national taxpayers union, the league of women voters, and common cause
soft money
campaign contributions directed to advaning the interests of a political party or an issue in general, rather than a specific candidate.

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