Relationship between interest groups and government: Bangladesh perspective in the light of FBCCI, BGMEA and DCCI
Interest group, also called special interest group or pressure group, any association of individuals or organizations, usually formally organized, that, on the basis of one or more shared concerns, attempts to influence public policy in its favor. All interest groups share a desire to affect government policy to benefit themselves or their causes. Their goal could be a policy that exclusively benefits group members or one segment of society (e.g., government subsidies for farmers) or a policy that advances a broader public purpose (e.g., improving air ...view middle of the document...
2 Another researcher said, ‘In other instances, an interest group consists not of individuals but of organizations or businesses, such as the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor) in Israel and the Andean-Amazon Working Group, which includes environmental and indigenous organizations in several South American countries’.3
Relationship between interest groups and government
The relationship between Government and Interest Groups is an interesting one because it is a symbiotic one; the two need each other to achieve their relevant objectives. The specific relationship very much depends on the specific circumstances at the time and external contextual elements such as the state of the economy, especially when considering Trade Unions, which is perhaps the most active type of interest group.
However, the extent to which the Government of the day will reach out to interest groups will depend on the extent to which they are following a very set, ideological path. Governments with set ideas do not need interest groups to provide new ideas for them. For example during the Thatcher governments of the 1980s Mrs. Thatcher knew what she wanted and how she wanted to achieve it and so there was thus little room for interest groups to influence her governments. When interest groups are excluded from government and the policy process they do not simply wait to be included again. During times where interest groups are not part of the official policy process they try to influence it from the outside and use tactics more closely associated with direct action, not a usual trait of an insider interest group. For example think of the Countryside alliance and their opposition to the foxhunting ban, and indeed the much more recent student protests against tuition fees. One might think of it as if interest groups are not being listened to by government, they will simply shout louder. Interest groups did still have some influence during this time, which says a lot about the potential amount of influence that interest groups can yield over governments. Indeed, interest groups can bring a government to its knees! The 1974 General Election was fought under the slogan ‘Who Runs Britain?’ after a long battle between Edward Heath and the Trade Unions. The Unions won that election, albeit it narrowly, leading to Harold Wilson returning to government. Trade Unions have not only provided trouble for Conservative governments. The 1978/9 Winter of Discontent was caused by the Unions which indirectly brought down the Labor Callaghan government leading to 18 years of Conservative government. The extent to which interest groups are approached by the Government is constantly changing, in the same way that within specific policy areas different specific interest groups may be approached instead of other groups that are concerned with the same specific policy area, for example the International Whaling Commission. There has been a battle between the Whaling Industry, Scientific...