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Pressure Groups

Duncan Watts

eBook (PDF) i

Pressure Groups are an increasingly important feature of the political landscape and they are active on many levels, local, national or European. They reflect a diverse compass of interests from the well-known (the National Farmers' Union) to the less familiar (the Zip Fastener Association) and interact with a wide range of political players in different parts of the political system: parties, the media, government and parliament. They are involved at every stage of the political process, from raising issues and agenda setting to policy implementation and monitoring.

Subjects covered include:

  • Classifying pressure groups
  • How pressure groups operate
  • Pressure group resources
  • Trends in pressure group activity*Protest politics and direct action
  • Pressure groups and the Scottish Parliament
  • Pressure groups and the European Union
  • The abolition of hunting with dogs
  • Pressure groups and democracy

This book provides an accessible guide to the role of Pressure Groups in our democracy, establishing clear definitions and analysing their role and performance. It includes the findings of recent research into the workings of British pressure groups in the European Union and of the ways in which lobbyists consult with the devolved legislatures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


1. Classifying Pressure Groups
2. How Pressure Groups Operate
3. Pressure Group Resources and Success or Failure
4. Trends in Pressure Group Activity since 1979
5. Protest Politics and Direct Action
6. Pressure Groups and the Scottish Parliament
7. Pressure Groups and the European Union
8. The Abolition of Hunting with Dogs: An English, Welsh and Scottish Case Study
Conclusion: Pressure Groups and Democracy.

About the Author

Duncan Watts has wide experience of teaching and examining, both in Modern History and Government and Politics. Formerly a Head of Department in both Grammar and Comprehensive schools, and Editor of the Politics Association Resource Centre, he is now involved in some part-time tutoring at 'A' Level, but much of his time is spent in writing on aspects of modern political development. Among several other publications, he has written widely on citizenship, political communication, the European Union and American government and politics, as well as producing an extensive range of teaching materials. He is the series editor of Politics Study Guides (EUP).

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