An interest group is a group of people, individuals or organizations, which are formally organized on the basis of one, or more shared concerns and challenges on public policy in favor of its welfare. An interest group can also be termed as a natural outcome of communities of interests. The common identity of an interest group is that all its members share a common desire which has an effect on the policies set by the government for their own benefit. In this case, a policy definition could be a policy that exclusively benefits group members or the society, the policy can also advance broader public purposes
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According to a research carried on political parties as well as other interest groups, scholars have been able to find out significant differences between a political party and an interest group. Even though the two might seem to serve almost the same function, their intentions are very different. In this case, an interest group is always focused in advancing specific social goals while a political party redefines its platform when necessary depending on the prevailing political concerns (Grant, 2008). Political parties can interact, compromise, and change according to peoples view while interest groups are created and maintain their focus and emphasis on the cause of social conflict.
Similarly, an interest party group is a set of persons who have a common identifying interest that often provide a basis for action in the community. On the other hand, a political party is a group of persons organized for a purpose of formulating and directing the policies of a government. Actual membership is very important in gaining a directing power in an interest group while political parties are not as dependent on the actual membership in carrying out their activities. In the case of representation, an interest group represent a small subset of a society who have a common social interest while a political party is composed of several overlapping and competing interest groups that work under the same umbrella to achieve their common goal.
Over the years many of the interest groups have been created in Britain to serve different functions. The most significant interest groups in Britain include the organization of British labor Trades Union Congress and the organization of British businesses which are dominated by large firms (Grant, 2008). The significance of interest groups have been seen it the way they have helped to make the government change its policies. In this case the interest groups have been of great help especially when it has changed the government policies within the years. These interest groups have also helped in the formulation of the party policies. Their influence has been reflected in form of ideas given to these parties in development of the policies that meets the needs of the community. This has continued to necessitate the formation of social policy networks throughout the years in Britain politics. In response to this, the government has adopted an imposition policy style. However, interest groups have learnt ways of exploiting opportunities presented by the government policy making processes. This has continued to be characterized by formation of multiple opportunity structures.
In a comparison, interest groups in Unites States have a definite structure than those in Britain. However, in terms of delivery of goals, interest groups in Britain are more effective due to their influence in the political policy making process.
Grant, Wyn. (2008). The changing patterns of group politics in Britain. British Politics, Vol.3 No.2. pp. 204-222.
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