Question Alana Politics & International Relations

Insider and Outsider Pressure Groups

What are Pressure Groups? What are the differences between Insider and Outsider Pressure Groups?

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Answer Internal Staff

Pressure groups are organisations that campaign to change the law in relation to specific areas. Because of their focus on specific key issues they can have a great impact on voters’ viewpoints. There are two main types of pressure groups; insider and outsider. Insider pressure groups have close links with the government and are often consulted priority to the passing of legislation. An example of this would be the British Medical Association who are likely to be consulted before laws are passed on matters related to health.

Outsider groups are much less likely to be consulted by the government as they are often seen as less formal than their insider counterparts. They instead opt for a more aggressive style of activism and will often take part in protests and direct action to promote their cause. An example of an outside pressure group would be Greenpeace who often engage in protests to showcase their ideals. While it is clear that pressure groups involve more people within the political system it can be argued that they are actually a threat to the democratic system as they can often allow small groups of unelected officials to have significant impact on policy making.