lobby groups


lobby groups
   Lobbying is the political activity of influencing or attempting to influence the political process in general and policy-making in particular. It is an activity widespread in politics where different groups and interests seek to influence political actors, such as policy makers, government ministers, MPs, members of political parties, the media and so on. Lobbying can occur at every level of politics, from local government and national parliaments to supranational and international political organizations such as the European Union and the United Nations.
   Lobbying is part and parcel of the realpolitik of all modern political systems, and in liberal democracies is a highly professional activity which has not always been the case. Whereas in the past lobbying occurred through ‘old boys’ networks’, informal, ad hoc arrangements between political actors and interest groups, in the modern political world there are professional lobbying agencies who will, for a fee, lobby on behalf of their clients. Very often these professional lobbyists are ex-politicians, or are closely connected with particular political parties. For some, lobbying is not a problem for democracies since all interests, groups and individuals can lobby or seek to lobby and influence public policy. On this pluralist account of politics, lobbying is simply another way to represent one’s interests alongside the formal voting mechanism. For others, lobbying is inherently problematic, since it is an attempt undemocratically to influence democratically elected politicians, ministers and governments, and lobbying is mostly used by powerful interests and groups to amend government policy to suit themselves. Those that lobby government are not usually the unemployed or single mothers, but large corporations or wellorganized special interest groups such as farmers. With the professionalization of lobbying in recent years and its character as a paid-for service has come the charge that lobbying introduces an element of corruption into democratic politics. Recent scandals in Britain, centred on the unhealthy relationship between lobbyists and elected politicians and ministers (from the disgraced former Conservative MPs Neil Hamilton and Jonathan Aitken, to the more recent 1998 scandal surrounding the lobbyist Derek Draper and the New Labour government) have demonstrated for some why lobbying is an inherently undesirable (though inevitable) aspect of modern democratic politics.
   See also: democracy; pressure groups
   JOHN BARRY

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • lobby — 01. Environmental groups are [lobbying] the government to stop the destruction of virgin rainforest. 02. The tobacco [lobby] is spending millions of dollars in an effort to stop the government from suing tobacco companies for health costs related …   Grammatical examples in English

  • Lobby pro-OGM — Mouvement anti OGM Le mouvement anti OGM désigne l ensemble des actions légales, comme les campagnes de sensibilisation, ou illégales, telles que des destructions de plantations, menées par le groupe de pression qui s oppose au développement des… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • lobby correspondent — noun A reporter on parliamentary affairs • • • Main Entry: ↑lobby * * * lobby correspondent UK US noun [countable] [singular lobby correspondent plural lobb …   Useful english dictionary

  • lobby — lob·by 1 n pl lobbies: a group of persons engaged in lobbying esp. as representatives of a particular interest group lobby 2 vb lob·bied, lob·by·ing vi: to conduct activities aimed at influencing public officials and esp. members of a legislative …   Law dictionary

  • lobby — ▪ I. lobby lob‧by 1 [ˈlɒbi ǁ ˈlɑːbi] noun lobbies PLURALFORM [countable] 1. a group of people with similar interests who try to persuade a government that a particular law or situation should be changed: • Opposition to the new law is expected… …   Financial and business terms

  • Lobby — Un lobby est une structure organisée pour représenter et défendre les intérêts d un groupe donné. Pour ce faire, il exerce une activité, le lobbying, qui consiste « à procéder à des interventions destinées à influencer directement ou… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • lobby — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun group of people who try to influence politicians ADJECTIVE ▪ powerful, strong ▪ a powerful anti smoking lobby ▪ anti abortion, anti hunt, environmental, gun …   Collocations dictionary

  • lobby — 1. noun /lɒbi,lɑbi/ a) An entryway or reception area; vestibule. I had to wait in the lobby for hours before seeing the doctor. b) A class or group of people who try to lobby or influence public officials; collectively, lobbyists. The influence… …   Wiktionary

  • lobby —    A term variously used to refer to: the ante rooms of legislative chambers, that is, the area in Parliament outside the chamber; the popular collective name for pressure groups, the idea originally relating to a group of people representing a… …   Glossary of UK Government and Politics

  • pressure groups — Groups of persons, employers, or other organizations joining together to represent the interests of a particular sectional groupvis à vis governments, the public at large, or other interest groups . Pressure groups, lobby groups, and interest… …   Dictionary of sociology