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5. Pressure Groups and Democracy
About this Lecture
In this module, we consider whether pressure groups enhance or detract from the democratic process, focusing in particular on: (i) the importance of political associations – and the freedom to associate more generally – to a well-functioning democratic society; (ii) the extent to which pressure groups themselves demonstrate ‘internal democracy’, and the extent to which this is an achievable or even a desirable end; (iii) the importance of political associations as an additional route for political participation, and the advantage of political associations over traditional party politics; (iv) the extent to which political associations undermine democracy, focusing in particular on the example of the alcoholic drinks industry; and (v) how lobbying fits in to wider discussions relating to the credibility of modern democracy following the global financial crisis of 2007-8.
In this course, Professor Wyn Grant (University of Warwick) explores the importance of pressure groups and lobbying in the UK political system. In the first module, we think about the history of pressure groups and how they have changed over time, starting with the Anti-Corn Law League of the early 19th century and going all the way through the Extinction Rebellion in the present day. In the second module, we think about how we might categorise different kinds of pressure groups, before turning in the third module to a specific where a pressure group has set out to achieve a particular goal – and achieved it. In the fourth module, we think about the role of commercial lobbyists, i.e. groups that are paid to lobby on behalf of business interests, before turning in the fifth and final module consider whether pressure groups and lobbyists strengthen or undermine modern democracy.
Wyn Grant is Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of Warwick. In 2010 he was presented with the Diamond Jubilee Lifetime Achievement award of the Political Studies Association of the UK, and in 2011 he was elected an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences. His most recent publication is Lobbying: The Dark Side of Politics (2018).
Cite this Lecture
Grant, W. (2020, December 21). Pressure Groups and Lobbying - Pressure Groups and Democracy [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/pressure-groups-and-lobbying/pressure-groups-and-democracy
Grant, Wyn. "Pressure Groups and Lobbying – Pressure Groups and Democracy." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 21 Dec 2020, https://massolit.io/courses/pressure-groups-and-lobbying/pressure-groups-and-democracy