Essay Questions

1. Explain the difference between interest groups and social movements. Provide support and examples.

2. Discuss the following statement: Interest groups are essential for a successful representative democracy. Be sure to provide arguments for and against this statement. Be sure to include the ways in which interest groups increase representation and the ways in which they decrease representation?

3. Why is it necessary or important to differentiate between economic and noneconomic interest groups? How do their goals differ? Which interests are more likely to be covered in the Constitution compared to those that are covered or attended to in the American political system?

4. Discuss why “Health and Medical Organizations” and “Trade, Business, and Commercial Organizations” constitute the largest proportions of interest groups in the United States. Examine this information in the context of the concept of “special interests” influencing Washington politics to the detriment of the average citizen.

5. Examine the ways in which the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision changed the ways in which interest groups could influence politics.