4 Important Silent Features of Interest Groups

Interest groups is formally organised structures Myron Weiner describes them as voluntarily organised groups outside the government structure. A. Leiserson describes these as non-partisans organisations of persons united for the achievement of certain end. Interest Groups are organised associations of people.

Each such group has a constitution of its own and a formal organised structure consisting of elected or nominated representatives of its members.

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(3) Mutual Cooperation and Pressure Techniques:

Interest groups try to secure their goals through the cooperative efforts of its members. They seek to maintain and promote cooperation among their members and thereby try to secure their interests. They try to persuade all those persons who have the power to satisfy their interests.

They resort to lobbying with legislators, ministers, administrators, civil servants, judges and the press for favourably influencing their policies, decisions and roles. They are always keen to create an environment which can be most conducive for their efforts towards the attainment of their interests. Along with it, these are also prepared to use pressure techniques for securing their interests. They accept pressure techniques as legitimate means for securing their interests.

(4) Non-Partisan Character:

Interest Groups are basically non-partisan in character. They do not directly participate in struggle for power. These are, as S.E. Finer writes, “by and large autonomous and politically neutral bodies.”

Nevertheless, they try to influence the course of political process; particularly the elections in such a way as can help them to secure their interests. They bargain with political parties in order to win support for their goals. They do not have permanent party affiliations or biases.

They keep their options open and bargain with every political party irrespective of political complexion of government in power. They can support a party in respect of some of its policies as well as oppose it in respect of its other policies. They regard elections and party politics as opportunities and environments which can be used for serving their interests.

They are non-partisan in character and they stoutly advocate and defend their non-partisan role. They participate in political process only indirectly. They do not struggle for power but they do try to influence the outcome of this struggle. In other words, they participate in politics only for securing their interests and not for capturing political power.

As Eckstein has observed, “Pressure Group politics represents something less than the full politicisation of groups and something more than utter de-politicisation. It constitutes an intermediate level of action between the political and the apolitical.” Dr. J.C. Johri describes their role as “Hide and Seek in Politics.”

These are the four cardinal characteristics of Interest Groups and these clearly reflect their nature as organised, non-partisan interest groups which affect the course of politics without getting directly involved in it.