A Level Politics

Improving your grade

FAQ: What is a pressure group?

Posted by Matt Walker on November 29, 2009

A pressure group is an organisation which attempts to influence government policy. As their name suggests, they aim is to ‘pressure’ the government into either changing policy, or to innovate in a particular direction.

A pressure group may represent a particular section of society, such as pensioners (Help the Aged) or homeless people (Shelter). These are called interest or sectional groups. Alternatively, a pressure group might wish to influence government over a particular issue, such as the environment (Greenpeace) or health (BMA). These are known as issue or promotional groups.

In attempting to influence government policy, a pressure group must decide where to focus its attention. Are the decisions they wish to influence made by the EU, the Westminster Parliament, or one of the devolved parliaments? A successful pressure group will need to understand where and how decisions are made – doing an AS in government and politics would be a good start!

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2 Responses to “FAQ: What is a pressure group?”

  1. […] So what is a pressure group?  Why is it a stakeholder?  What influence can it have on a business?  Why not visit the wonderful politics blog for Matt Walker’s comments on them.  […]

  2. Charlie Bollaan said

    The book says BMA are sectional : S

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