Unlike political parties, pressure groups do not aspire to govern the country and
are concerned with a relatively narrow range of issues. Much of their work is non-
political, but in as much as their concerns and aspirations are affected by
government they seek to acquire an influence over the conduct of public policy.
In this chapter, we are concerned with examining the range of groups in Britain
and the United States, the ways in which they operate and their effectiveness. In
addition, we consider the changes in pressure-group activity on both sides of the
Atlantic over the last two or three decades.
|•||What are the differences between movements and pressure groups, and what are the distinctive characteristics of New Social Movements?|
|•||Why have single-issue groups become so much more significant in recent years?|
|•||In what respects does lobbying of the Executive branch differ in Britain and the United States?|
|•||Which access points are most important in British and American politics, and why?|
|•||Distinguish between iron triangles and policy networks.|
|•||Why have some groups resorted to direct action in recent decades?|
|•||Do pressure groups make a positive contribution to British and American democracy?|