Define pressure groups and explain their mode of operation

A pressure group is defined as organised groups which influence government decisions socially and economically without contesting elections for the purpose of controlling governmental powers.

See also: THE FUNCTIONS OF PRESSURE GROUPS

 MODE OF OPERATION 

  • THROUGH MASS MEDIA: Pressure groups influence government policy through the mass media like Radio,
    Television, Newspapers, Press Conference, etc. in which they highlight their problems or make special appeal to
    government. This is an effective method in mobilising public opinion.
  •  DIALOGUE: This is a formal discussion between representatives of government and pressure groups. If the discussion fails, then confrontation is inevitable.
  •  LOBBYING: Pressure groups attempt to lobby influential officials of government e.g the legislature. Lobbying is an effective strategy in democratic countries.
  •  PRESSURE MOUNTED ON THE EXECUTIVE: Pressure groups mount pressure on the executive not to sign into law bills that are seen as unhealthy. Such bills may not produce something good for them or for the public.
  •  ULTIMATUM: Ultimatum comes up after different
    opportunities for dialogue have been exhausted without result. It is a condition issued by pressure groups to either the government or employer and failure may attract unhealthy situation.
  •  STRIKE ACTION: This is also known as boycott. Pressure groups may embark on strike action. It is always the last option after all effort of reconciliation and methods have failed. Students in higher institutions
    of learning can equally embark on boycott of lectures for the same purpose.
  • DEMONSTRATIONS: This could be peaceful or violent. Pressure groups adopt these methods to mobilise support from members of the public.
  •  CONSULTATIONS: Most of the policies made by government are done based on consultations with some pressure groups.
  •  WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH POLITICAL PARTY: This is done in order to have its programmes became a major concern to the party, if election result is in
    their favour.
  •  MEMBERSHIP OF INTERNATIONAL UNIONS: They join international groups as a way of attracting international sympathy. For instance, the Nigerian Labour Congress is a member of the organisation of African Trade Union.

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