Advocacy group

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A pressure group, also referred to as an advocacy group, lobby group, or campaign group, is an organized assembly of individuals who aim to sway public policy and societal perspectives. These groups function across diverse sectors like politics, economy, and society, with their impact reaching from local to international scopes. In history, pressure groups have had substantial contributions to movements such as abolitionism, women’s rights, and gay rights. They leverage influence through various channels, including lobbying, legal defense funds, and media advocacy. Their operational dynamics involve addressing the free rider issue and employing solidarity and expressive incentives. Pressure groups may also be confrontational, presenting conflicting views on matters like abortion rights, animal testing, and tobacco laws. They are potent vehicles for societal transformation, often molding policy and public sentiment.

Advocacy group (Wikipedia)

Advocacy groups, also known as lobby groups, interest groups, special interest groups, pressure groups, or public associations, use various forms of advocacy or lobbying to influence public opinion and ultimate public policy. They play an important role in the development of political and social systems.

Motives for action may be based on political, economic, religious, moral, commercial or common good-based positions. Groups use varied methods to try to achieve their aims, including lobbying, media campaigns, awareness raising publicity stunts, polls, research, and policy briefings. Some groups are supported or backed by powerful business or political interests and exert considerable influence on the political process, while others have few or no such resources.

Some have developed into important social, and political institutions or social movements. Some powerful advocacy groups have been accused of manipulating the democratic system for narrow commercial gain, and in some instances have been found guilty of corruption, fraud, bribery, influence peddling and other serious crimes. Some groups, generally the ones with less financial resources, may use direct action and civil disobedience, and in some cases are accused of being a threat to the social order or 'domestic extremists'. Research is beginning to explore how advocacy groups use social media to facilitate civic engagement, and collective action.

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