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

Interest group, additionally called special attention group, advocacy group, or pressure group, any type of association of individuals or organizations, generally formally organized, that, top top the basis of one or more shared concerns, attempts to affect public policy in its favour. Every interest teams share a desire to affect government plan to benefit themselves or their causes. Their goal could be a plan that exclusively benefits group members or one segment of society (e.g., government subsidies because that farmers) or a policy that advancements a wider public purpose (e.g., boosting air quality). They effort to attain their objectives by lobbying—that is, through attempting to bring pressure come bear ~ above policy machines to get policy outcomes in their favour.

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

The usual goals and sources the interest teams obscure, however, the fact that they vary widely in their type and lobbying tactics both in ~ and across political systems. This article provides a wide overview that explains these differences and the role that interest groups play in society.


As identified above, an interest group is generally a formally organized association that looks for to affect public policy. This vast definition, progressively used by scholars, contrasts through older, narrow ones that incorporate only personal associations that have a distinct, officially organization, such together Italy’s Confindustria (General Confederation the Industry), the unified States’s National education Association, and also Guatemala’s common Support group (human rights organization). One problem with such a narrow definition is that numerous formally arranged entities room not private. The most essential lobbying pressures in any society are the miscellaneous entities of government: national, regional, and local federal government agencies and also institutions such as the military. An additional reason to opt for a broad definition is the in all cultures there are plenty of informal groups that are, in effect, interest groups but would no be spanned by the narrower definition. Because that example, in all political systems there are influential teams of political and professional elite that might not be known as officially groups yet are nonetheless vital in informally affecting public policy.

Some interest groups consist of people such together ranchers or fruit growers who may type farm commodity organizations. In other instances, an attention group is composed not the individuals yet of organizations or businesses, such together the Histadrut (General Federation that Labour) in Israel and Amazon Watch, which contains environmental and indigenous organizations in numerous South American countries. These species of institutions are dubbed peak associations, together they are, in effect, the major groups in their area of interest in a country.

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The hatchet interest quite than interest group is regularly used come denote broad or less-formalized politics constituencies, such together the farming interest and the environmental interest—segments of culture that might include plenty of formal interest groups. Similarly, interest is frequently used as soon as considering federal government entities working to influence other governments (e.g., a local federal government seeking come secure resources from the nationwide government). In authoritarian and developing societies, where formal interest teams are minimal or not too developed, interest is regularly used to designate more comprehensive groupings together as government elites and also tribal leaders.