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American Government 2e

Key Terms

American Government 2eKey Terms

groups of companies or institutions that organize around a common set of concerns, often within a given industry or trade
astroturf movement
a political movement that resembles a grassroots movement but is often supported or facilitated by wealthy interests and/or elites
Citizens United
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was a 2010 Supreme Court case that granted corporations and unions the right to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections
collective good
a good such as public safety or clean air, often produced by government, that is generally available to the population as a whole
contract lobbyist
a lobbyist who works for a contract lobbying firm that represents clients before government
disturbance theory
the theory that an external event can lead to interest group mobilization
the belief that you make a difference and that government cares about you and your views
elite critique
the proposition that wealthy and elite interests are advantaged over those without resources
the result when a large interest group develops diverging needs
free rider problem
the situation that occurs when some individuals receive benefits (get a free ride) without helping to bear the cost
grassroots movement
a political movement that often begins from the bottom up, inspired by average citizens concerned about a given issue
in-house lobbyist
an employee or executive within an organization who works as a lobbyist on behalf of the organization
inside lobbying
the act of contacting and taking the organization’s message directly to lawmakers in an attempt to influence policy
iron triangle
three-way relationship among congressional committees, interests groups, and the bureaucracy
issue network
a group of interest groups and people who work together to support a particular issue or policy
legislative liaison
a person employed by a governmental entity such as a local government, executive department, or university to represent the organization before the legislature
a person who represents an organization before government in an attempt to influence policy
material incentives
substantive monetary or physical benefits given to group members to help overcome collective action problems
membership organization
an interest group that usually consists of dues-paying members who organize around a particular cause or issue
a person who suggests that all groups’ access and influence depend on the political environment
outside lobbying
the act of lobbying indirectly by taking the organization’s message to the public, often through the use of the media and/or by issue press releases, in hopes that the public will then put pressure on lawmakers
particularized benefit
a benefit that generally accrues to a narrow segment of society
a person who believes many groups healthily compete for access to decision-makers
public interest group
an interest group that seeks a public good, which is something that accrues to all
purposive incentives
benefits to overcome collective action problems that appeal to people’s support of the issue or cause
revolving door laws
laws that require a cooling-off period before government officials can register to lobby after leaving office
soft money
money that interests can spend on behalf of candidates without being restricted by federal law
solidary incentives
benefits based on the concept that people like to associate with those who are similar to them
voting cues
sources—including fellow lawmakers, constituents, and interest groups—that lawmakers often use to help them decide how to vote, especially on unfamiliar issues
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