Law and Politics

Start Free Trial

How Do Interest Groups Influence Government?

Interest groups influence government policies directly by pressuring lawmakers to vote in a way that benefits the group. They also attempt to sway public opinion, shaping the way people vote and therefore affecting those who have lawmaking authority.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Interest groups are formed around common shared interests. Sometimes, these groups represent public interests. Sometimes, they represent business interests. And other times, they represent groups of people who share a common occupation.

Interest groups are often heavily involved in the political process. They send representatives to their local, state, and...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Interest groups are formed around common shared interests. Sometimes, these groups represent public interests. Sometimes, they represent business interests. And other times, they represent groups of people who share a common occupation.

Interest groups are often heavily involved in the political process. They send representatives to their local, state, and national places of government to pressure lawmakers to pass (or reject) policies based on their interests. Sometimes, representatives from interest groups are called to testify before state and national Senates. They generally put pressure on those who make laws to vote in a way that would favor the interests of the group. Interest group representatives are often well-connected people who hold a great deal of power themselves. They often have law backgrounds and are well-versed in the arts of persuasion and influence.

Indirectly, interest groups also try to sway public opinion. This can be done in personal conversations or by using the media and social media to advance their cause. They may organize public protests to bring attention to areas they believe are in need of change. If a group can persuade the public to support the beliefs of the interest groups, the public may also be likely to vote for candidates who support that interest, making the path to lawmaking easier.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team