UK Politics revision notes

  • Created by: ceecee16
  • Created on: 01-06-22 10:37

Democracy and participation 


Pressure groups

a group that tries to influence public policy in the interest of a particular cause, don’t usually enter its own candidates in elections or seek to exercise power themselves

Types of groups:

  • Sectional -groups that campaign for their own interests 

  • casual -groups that campaign for a cause on behalf of others

  • insider - linked to the government 

  • outsider - has no link with the government 

Factors that determine their success 

  • wealth - wealthy interest groups can afford to have influence in the sense that they can pay full-time lobbyists to work on their behalf 

  • Size- the bigger the group members) the more influence and attraction they are getting. Wealth and size are linked. 

  • Public support- groups that are in line with public opinion 

  • Insider- gives them more of an advantage


  • Demonstrations: protests, rallies 

    • Stop the War, coalition march 

  • Publicity campaigns: can involve celebrity endorsements

  • Strikes 

  • Publicity stunts

  • Insider groups with close access to the government may work to influence legislation

    • British Bankers Association

    • British Medical association

    • Fathers4Justice 

  • Some groups will bring cases to court to try and fight for their members’ legal rights or to protect rights against the government 

  • Some groups may use illegal methods such as disrupting public events in order to gain publicity for their cause 

    • Plane Stupid 

Case studies:

  • Greenpeace: Protect the Earth. Campaigns on the climate crisis, pollution, and nuclear issues. Has used insider methods such as lobbying

  • British Medical Association: Trade union for doctors. Casual group. Insider and regularly lobbies Parliament to change legislation 

  • Extinction Rebellion: Aims to get the government to ‘tell the truth’ about the climate crisis and to set up a Citizens’ Assembly to discuss what should be done. Use nonviolent civil disobedience. 




  • Enhance democracy disperses power in a political system more widely 

  • Help the public to hold the government to an account 

  • Educate public 

  • Promote interests of the minority 

  • Political participation 

  • Elitism means that power is more concentrated in the hands of wealthy or insider groups

  • Tyranny of the minority 

  • Think tanks -privately funded 

    • Develop policy ideas 

    • Research organisations that help to formulate and create policy ideas 

    • Research key ideas 

    • Promote a sectional agenda 

  • Lobbyists- people hired to persuade those in power

    • Personal connections 

    • Seek to persuade those in power


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