Political Dictionary – Chapter 9 Interest Groups
Prepared by Sara Darga
Public Policy- Public policy is all of the goals a
government sets and the various courses of action it pursues as it attempts to
realize these goals. Importance- Some key examples of public
policy are laws governing speed limits and seat belt use, and also a
President’s decision to send military aid to another country.
Public Affairs- Public Affairs are those issues and events
that concern the entire people of the United States at large. Importance-
Interest groups raise awareness of public affairs by developing and
promoting those policies they favor and by opposing those policies they see as
threats to their interests.
Trade Associations- Trade associations are interest groups
belonging to segments of the business community. Importance- Today
the number of trade associations is in the hundreds and includes; the American
Trucking Association, Association of American Railroads, the American Bankers
Association and many more.
Labor Union- A labor union is an organization of workers
who share the same type of job or who work in the same industry. Importance-
Labor unions press for government policies that will benefit their members.
Public-Interest Group- A Public-Interest Group is an
interest group that seeks to institute certain public policies of benefit to all
or most people in this country, whether or not they belong to or support that
organization. Importance- Unlike most interest
groups, public-interest groups focus on the roles that all Americans share.
Propaganda- Propaganda is a technique of persuasion aimed
at influencing individual or group behaviors. Importance-
Propaganda’s goal is to create a particular belief, whether it be true or
false, or in between.
Single-Interest Groups- Single-Interest
Groups are PAC’s that concentrate their efforts on one specific issue.
Importance- Single-Interest Groups work for, or against, a candidate solely on
the basis of that candidate’s position on that one issue.
Lobbying- Lobbing is the activities by which group
pressures are brought to bear on legislators and the legislative process. Importance-
Nearly all of the more important organized interests in the country; business
groups, labor unions, farm organizations, veterans, churches, and many more,
maintain lobbyists in Washington.
Grass Roots- Grass
roots means of or from the people, the average voters. Importance-
The groups that lobbyists speak for can mount campaigns by e-mail, letter,
postcard, and phone from “the folks back home”, and often on a short notice.