Interest group

From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

INTEREST GROUP – otherwise known as the pressure group, it is a non-public organisation that aims to have a sectoral impact on politics and actions of the authorities, but does not seek to gain and exercise this power to implement general social changes (which is a characteristic of the party). People organise themselves in the i.g. on the basis of such factors as: economy (employees and employers), demography (youth, pensioners, minorities), geographical and social space (local interests, centre and periphery, big cities, regions, etc.), culture (linguistic, ethnic, cultural minorities), rights (rights of women, people with disabilities, etc.). The typology of i.g. includes such divisions as community/union groups (associations, trade unions), private interest groups (business, professional corporations), public interest (consumer protection, environmental protection), institutional groups (local governments). From the point of view of links between i.g. and public administration one can distinguish a division into the so-called outsiders/insiders in the decision-making process. The relations of the state administration and interest groups are described by various political theories. Two are the most prominent: pluralism assumes a relative balance of different i.g. The second is corporatism and neo-corporatism, and it presupposes the legal and institutional distinction of certain i.g. in relations with the state, e.g., business organisation and trade union headquarters, the network model (networks, communities) identifies the creation of a network of interests “across” various sectors (private, public, non-governmental) that affect the shape of public policy. (→ iron triangle) [D. Długosz]

Literature: S. Ehrlich, Władza i interesy: studium struktury politycznej kapitalizmu [Power and interests: study of the political structure of capitalism], Warszawa 1974 ■ W. Grant, Lobbying: The Dark Side of Politics, Manchester 2018 ■ J.C. Scott, Lobbying and Society: A Political Sociology of Interest Groups, London 2018