Lobbying group


A lobbying group, commonly known as a lobby, is a group of people who, among themselves, have common interests. The main objective of these is to influence political decisions, taking actions to promote decisions favorable to their interests.

The lobbying group or pressure group, as its name suggests, refers to a group of people who, under the same or similar interests, promote concrete actions to influence political decisions. These actions consist of the use of influence in the public administration, using pressure tools for the adoption of policies focused on the interests of the group.

There are lobbying groups in almost every sector, as well as organizations. For this reason, given their great implication in modern democracies, the different governments have regulated their existence under public records.

Interest groups

Lobbying history

The origin of the term lobbying dates back to the 19th century. During this century, in 1830, the term lobby was used in Great Britain to refer to the halls of the House of Commons. In these corridors, members of the various lobbying groups met with members of Parliament to discuss the policies that were being applied in the country.

In the same way, during the Civil War in the United States, the Commander General of the Union Army Ulysses S. Grant, after the fire that devastated the White House, settled in a hotel lobby. This lobby, with the passage of time, was filled with members of the different lobbying groups with whom the general discussed the actions that both he and President Lincoln were adopting. Decisions that, as might be expected, had repercussions on the interests of the pressure groups.

Great American presidents, such as President John F. Kennedy, made reference to lobbies during their tenure. Lobbying groups are widespread and immersed in American and British political life, where they seek to influence the political decisions of members of parliament based on their interests.

This practice, over time, began to spread throughout the world. Thus, in all the different democracies of the world, lobbying groups have a large presence. A presence that is legal, under a regulation that has forced them to register in a public registry, eliminating that component that overshadowed the figure of these pressure groups.

Types of lobbying groups

Among lobbying groups there are several classifications. These pressure groups, depending on their interests, can be classified into three types. Depending on your way of organizing, your intentions, as well as the raison d'être of it, the lobbying group will vary from one class to another.

In reference to the classes that characterize the activity of a lobbying group, we can highlight the following three:

  • Economic agents: employers, business and financial groups, professional organizations, trade unions, federations, unions, etc.
  • Citizen associations: thought groups, neighborhood associations, homeowners associations, etc.
  • Non-governmental organizations: environmental groups, foundations, charitable associations, etc.

Depending on the raison d'être of the different groups, they will tend to act in one way or another. All of them must be regulated by the territory, as well as controlled by a public registry, accessible to citizens.

Examples of lobbying groups

Although we do not identify them at first glance, lobbying groups, as we said, are very present in our lives. We continually see lobbying groups in the media without realizing that they are. This is due to the fact that they are not usually publicly referred to as a lobby or lobby group. However, their interests and goals are those of a lobbying group.

Examples of the most prominent lobbying groups include the following:

  • Trade unions.
  • Union collectives.
  • Employers' employers.
  • Professional associations.
  • Thought associations.
  • Ecologists.
  • Arms organizations.
  • Press and media associations.

Criticism of lobbying groups

The existence of lobbying groups, pressure groups, is historical. However, in some countries where this series of groups have not had as much presence as in others, the term is often used in a pejorative way. The existence of an elitist class that influenced the political order has been something that has often frightened citizens. For many, illegitimizing the actions that led these pressure groups to influence the political decisions adopted by the country. The lack of transparency that these groups sometimes showed provoked a rejection by society.

Faced with this type of scenario, the different governments in the world have carried out a series of regulations and standards that oblige this series of groups to comply with a list of requirements. A list of requirements that includes the regulations for registering the existence of the pressure group, its functions, its organization, as well as its statutes and members. In this way, public access guarantees the transparency of these pressure groups.

Tags:  right latin america Argentina 

Interesting Articles