Functions of Pressure groups

  • Representation: Pressure groups provide a mouthpiece for groups and interests that are not adequately represented through the electoral process or by political parties.
  • Political participation: Pressure groups have become an increasingly important agent of political participation. Of UK citizens, 40-50 per cent belong to at least one voluntary association. Interest groups may attempt to influence elections in order to get people who support their issues elected. Techniques include giving money to candidates, endorsing candidates, etc., are performed.
  • Lobbying government: It include contacting members of parliament, ministers and bureaucrats to disseminate information about the positive or adverse effects of proposed legislation. Ex: FICCI lobby Government to bring tax reforms which suit industry.
  • Educating public: Interest groups work hard to educate the public at large, government officials, their own members, and potential interest group members. They use sources like communication medium which include TV advertisements, sponsored newspaper articles, social media, etc.
  • Mobilising public: The interest groups not only create public opinion but sometimes draw the general masses into agitational and protest politics. If they want to set an industry in a particular area, they create the necessary climate and make the people of the area demand for the industry.
  • Policy formulation and implementation: In particular, pressure groups are a vital source of information and advice to governments. Many groups are therefore regularly consulted in the process of policy formulation, with government policy increasingly being developed through policy networks. An example of such group is Observor Research Foundation, which works on policy issues primarily related to foreign affairs.