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Key People:V. O. Key, Jr....(Show more)Related Topics:Peak associationPublic attention groupEconomic attention groupCause groupInstitutional interest...(Show more)

Interest group, additionally called special interest group, advocacy group, or pressure group, any association of individuals or organizations, generally formally organized, that, top top the basis of one or an ext shared concerns, attempts to affect public plan in that favour. All interest groups share a desire to affect government plan to benefit themselves or their causes. Your goal might be a policy that specifically benefits team members or one segment of culture (e.g., government subsidies because that farmers) or a policy that breakthroughs a wider public purpose (e.g., boosting air quality). They effort to accomplish their goals by lobbying—that is, through attempting to lug pressure come bear on policy machines to get policy outcomes in their favour.

Interest groups are a herbal outgrowth the the areas of attention that exist in every societies, from narrow groups such together the Japan Eraser Manufacturers association to wide groups such as the American Federation the Labor–Congress of industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) and to even broader organizations such together the military. Politics and interests are inseparable. Interests room a prevalent, permanent, and also essential aspect of every political systems—democratic, authoritarian, and totalitarian regimes alike. Furthermore, interest teams exist at every levels of government—national, state, provincial, and also local—and progressively they have occupied an essential role in international affairs.

The common goals and sources that interest teams obscure, however, the reality that they differ widely in their kind and lobbying strategies both in ~ and throughout political systems. This article provides a wide overview that defines these differences and also the role that interest groups play in society.


As characterized above, an interest team is commonly a formally organized association that looks for to affect public policy. This broad definition, increasingly used by scholars, contrasts through older, narrower ones that encompass only exclusive associations that have a distinct, officially organization, such as Italy’s Confindustria (General Confederation of Industry), the united States’s National education Association, and also Guatemala’s shared Support team (human civil liberties organization). One difficulty with such a narrow meaning is that numerous formally organized entities are not private. The most necessary lobbying pressures in any society are the assorted entities the government: national, regional, and also local government agencies and also institutions such as the military. One more reason to opt for a broad definition is the in all societies there are numerous informal groups that are, in effect, interest groups however would no be covered by the narrower definition. Because that example, in all political systems there are influential groups of political and professional elites that might not be recognized as officially groups however are nonetheless critical in informally influencing public policy.

Some interest teams consist of individuals such together ranchers or fruit growers who may type farm commodity organizations. In other instances, an attention group consists not of individuals however of organizations or businesses, such as the Histadrut (General Federation the Labour) in Israel and Amazon Watch, which has environmental and indigenous organizations in numerous South American countries. These species of establishments are referred to as peak associations, as they are, in effect, the significant groups in their area of interest in a country.

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The hatchet interest fairly than interest group is often used come denote large or less-formalized political constituencies, such together the agricultural interest and also the environmental interest—segments of society that might include plenty of formal attention groups. Similarly, interest is often used once considering government entities functioning to affect other governments (e.g., a local federal government seeking come secure resources from the nationwide government). In authoritarian and also developing societies, wherein formal interest groups are minimal or not as well developed, interest is frequently used to designate broader groupings together as government elites and tribal leaders.