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American Government 3e

Critical Thinking Questions

American Government 3eCritical Thinking Questions


How might we get more people engaged in the interest group system?


Are interest groups good or bad for democracy? Defend and explain your answer.


Why does it matter how we define interest group?


How do collective action problems serve as barriers to group formation, mobilization, and maintenance? If you were a group leader, how might you try to overcome these problems?


Is it possible to balance the pursuit of private goods with the need to promote the public good? Is this balance a desired goal? Why or why not?


How representative are interest groups in the United States? Do you agree that “all active and legitimate groups have the potential to make themselves heard?” Or is this potential an illusion? Explain your answer.


Evaluate the Citizens United decision. Why might the Court have considered campaign contributions a form of speech? Would the Founders have agreed with this decision? Why or why not?


How do we regulate interest groups and lobbying activity? What are the goals of these regulations? Do you think these regulations achieve their objectives? Why or why not? If you could alter the way we regulate interest group activity and lobbying, how might you do so in a way consistent with the Constitution and recent Supreme Court decisions?

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