Talk:Advocacy group

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Interest group[edit]

The standard academic term for this is "interest group" (at least in the U.S.) and Google suggests that it the most common term as well; unless there's any objection I'd like to move this to "interest group." Christopher Parham (talk) 01:52, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Moved content. J. D. Redding

  • I removed the article's claim that scholars prefer the term interest group to special interest or other synonyms in order to maintain a neutral point-of-view. I'm not sure what evidence exists to support this claim, considering that many of the most-cited academic papers and books on the subject readily employ the phrase special interest. (For example, one of the best models in the literature is by Grossman and Helpman, whose 2001 book is titled Special Interest Politics, and in fact has been cited more frequently than any paper exclusively using the term interest group. See Google Scholar searches for interest group and special interest.) — DustinGC (talk | contribs) 01:54, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

This should be changed:

"typically through the use of financial contributions to politicians to bias political opinion to create incentives for politicians to receive further financial contributions."

Directly paying legislators to bias political opinion is corruption, which definately happens, but which definately isn't "typically". Most interest groups influence public decisions with other means than financial ones. "Typically" interest groups would argue for a certain public decision based on analysises showing that their view on the matter should be met. Tobias.

To do?[edit]

Add section on "interest group theory" although may be better off in lobbying (once merged with Interest representation: Academic overview)? Links:

Madmedea 09:46, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

"Interests groups destroy America" is a biased statement.

Merge here of Advocacy[edit]

It appears to be about the same subject. Should it be merged into this article? -- de Facto (talk). 10:50, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

No. There are big differences now. See recent edits. Rowmn (talk) 13:43, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Advocacy is a process which may be carried out by a group or an individual, Advocacy groups (or interest groups) do seem to warrant a separate article. PeterEastern (talk) 13:20, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

A positive influence?[edit]

I don't have much idea on this topic. But during my History class i came across Interest Groups as one of the influential factor that played a significant role in the formation of modern America. It would be nice if expert on this subject coin that part as well. Aniljava (talk) 06:34, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

I total agree, some advocacy groups are selfish, cynical and even corrupt or illegal but others have been hugely influential and positive effects on the development of civil society and the creation of many civil structures - I have added examples including the abolition of slavery, the creation of the system of party political parties and creating the first schools for the poor. I suggest we create a section of examples of highlight significant advocacy groups over history.PeterEastern (talk)


This page is a bit vague. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:40, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Found page moved by cut and paste. Target page tagged and reported at WP:REPAIR  Ronhjones  (Talk) 01:12, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Interest groupAdvocacy group — Interest group is too general and easily confused with Special Interest Group. It it potentially contentious because there are some 350 direct links (and some 150 redirects via other titles) More details on Talk:Interest group below PeterEastern (talk) 14:37, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

I am not comfortable with the current distinction in wikipedia between 'Interest Group' and 'Special Interest Group'. An Interest Group is currently defined as being about lobbying/pressuring/advocacy and pressure group and advocacy group redirect to it; a Special Interest Group is described as being non-advocacy and seems to be restricted to scientific interests (to quote In technical fields, a Special Interest Group (SIG) is a community with a particular interest in a specific technical area). So lets check some current usage of the terms.

  • The US National Institute for Health lists some 100 'Interest Groups' (from the '14-3-3 Protein Interest Group' to the 'Zebrafish-Frog Interest Group')[1] and I really doubt that the Zebrafish-Frog Interest Group or any others are overtly political or advocating much except to left alone to learn more about Zebrafish-Frogs.
  • One source defines both 'Interest Group' and 'Special interest Group' as advocacy groups: A group of individuals who share some common goals and try to influence public policy to meet these goals. Also called "special interest group". [2].
  • However another definition of 'Interest Group' avoids any implication of advocacy: Voluntary associations of individuals sharing a common goal, for example to share information and learning. [3].
  • On the other hand the Cambridge Dictionary defines both 'Interest Groups' and 'Special Interest Group' as being advocacy groups with a similar but slightly different wording. Interest group: A group or organization with particular aims and ideas which tries to influence the government [4]. Special Interest Group: A group of people who have particular demands and who try to influence political decisions involving them.[5]
  • A UK educational site describes a pressure group or interest group as follows: a pressure group can be described as an organised group that does not put up candidates for election, but seeks to influence government policy or legislation. They can also be described as ‘interest groups’, ‘lobby groups’ or ‘protest groups’. Some people avoid using the term ‘pressure group’ as it can inadvertently be interpreted as meaning the groups use actual pressure to achieve their aims, which does not necessarily happen. In Britain, the number of political parties is very small, whereas the number of pressure groups runs into thousands; as the membership of political parties has fallen, that of pressure groups has increased.[6] They also have a more general discussion of pressure groups.
  • The Internal Revenue Service in the US evidently defines Advocacy as any activity that a person or organization undertakes to influence policies. There is great latitude in this definition, and some people consider advocacy to be all activities that are not specifically lobbying, such as public demonstrations, or the filing of friend of the court briefs.[7]

I have just spotted the Special Interest Group describes a interest group focused on learning, but that Special interest group (lower case version) redirected here as did these verions special interest group and Special-interest group- I have changed the redirect for all of these to 'Special Interest Group' and have also sorted all the articles that used those titles to point them to the appropriate article.

Proposed actions[edit]

My conclusion is that Interest group is too general for this article and that the IRS term of Advocacy group would be more appropriate (which also works well for us here in the UK). I therefore propose to make the following changes:-

  1. Move this article to Advocacy group
  2. Change Interest group into a disambiguation page and use the proposed text below as an introductory paragraph
  3. Change the following redirect pages to links to link directly to Advocacy group: Pressure group, Lobby group, Pressure groups, Lobbying group, Lobby groups, Advocacy groups
  4. Leaving the following redirects pointing to Interest group and then through the linked articles over time and redirect them appropriately: Special interest, Special interests, Interest groups, Special Interest
  5. Delete the following redirect pages (unused or only referred to from use talk pages): Slogan 'special interest', Interest Group, Political pressure group

PeterEastern (talk) 20:47, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Does no-one have an opinion on the above? This is an important article with some 22,000 views a month so needs to be right. I will go ahead soon with a 'proposed move tag' on the article to see if that gets any more response. I have just been through all the articles that used the special interest group redirect and changed them to Advocacy group or Lobby group or left them alone as appropriate. I will work on the direct links now.PeterEastern (talk) 07:15, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
The move is complicated by the fact that the Advocacy group article used to be a live article for this subject before the content was 'cut and pasted' into its current location and therefore has a history of its own. Given its history non-administrators can't do a simple move. I will request that an administrator does the move today. PeterEastern (talk) 07:58, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
The instructions for requesting an admin-moves seems unclear and admin may pick it up automatically - as such I will just wait and see if someone does it and then do any necessary cleanup afterwards. PeterEastern (talk) 09:17, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
As I understand it, splitting off material into an article which is now a redirect is no problem; simply cut and paste that section or other text. Moving to a name that is now a redirect will require deleting the redirect, which is an Admin job. Jim.henderson (talk) 12:04, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, however Advocacy group is indeed currently a redirect so is this an admin task or can I do it? I believe that I can cut and paste content from this article into the Advocacy group article over the top of the redirect and then insert the new disambiguation text into this article. Given that both pages have histories then that might well be the best way to maintain the complete history for the article - indeed it is probably the only way to maintain the complete histories. I will wait for clearer guidance on the matter but suggest that this might be the appropriate course of action.PeterEastern (talk) 12:22, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
OK, so I have now moved the content to the Advocacy group page using cut/paste and have changed a bunch of re-directs to point to it (including one from this article). I have created a link back to this talk page from the Advocacy group talk page for reference and have created a Interest group (disambiguation) page to tease out other uses of Interest group. I will now go through more of the links to this 'Interest Group' page and resolve them to the appropriate other page over the next week or so. Should I now change the 'move' tag at the start of this section or what to indicate that the 'move' has been completed.? PeterEastern (talk) 15:25, 9 March 2010 (UTC)


Support the move in general. The term advocacy group seems more specific to me. "Interest Group" is a term I often see applied to entirely non-political groups (e.g., SIGs (special interest groups) of the IEEE). I realize this is a pervasive change, but as near as I can tell it's quite sensible. --Joe Decker (talk) 00:10, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, I have been giving this a lot of thought over the past few days and now see that interest group is much wider than advocacy group and that advocacy group is a type of interest groups but that interest group is also used as a euphemism for advocacy group and lobbying group but that it is more helpful to keep the concepts clearer. It may be appropriate at some point to move Special Interest group to fill the 'interest group' disambiguation page with a clear link to advocacy and lobbying in the lead. Personally I think that is probably the best long term position, but lets see if this move is successful first. I may do some work on the special interest group article now to make the relationship clearer. PeterEastern (talk) 07:32, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Proposed text for intro to disambiguation page[edit]

Here is a proposed introductory paragraph for the replacement page:

An Interest Group (also Special interest group) is made up of individuals or organizations with a shared area interest, pastime, concern or cause. Interest groups can be found for virtually any field of endeavor to almost any levels of details. Some are large formalized legal entities and may be of national or international significance, other are small, informal, transient and local. Some Lobby groups and Advocacy groups are referred to as 'Interest groups' or 'Special interest groups'. Other example of interest groups include learned societies, university societies.Special Interest Group (SIG) often refers to an interest groups for a technical subject. In publishing 'Special Interest' is a category for books for a wide variety specific subjects (for example Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Sports, How-to, Cooking).[1]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Moved from Interest group[edit]

  • The content on this page has been moved back from Interest group as per discussion on talk:Interest group. I have left the talk page contents on that page for now. The move was achieved using 'cut paste' due to both articles having history associated with them.PeterEastern (talk) 14:44, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I have history-merged it. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 10:54, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Re-direct to where?[edit]

There is some debate about where this article should redirect to, either to Advocacy group or to Interest group (disambiguation). Given that this page used to be the location for the advocacy group article I suggest that it should go straight to Advocacy group for now until more of the links into this article are adjusted to point directly to Advocacy group . There must be some 200 links into this article with some 1,000 views per day. PeterEastern (talk) 15:04, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

I have to say I'm entirely mystified by what you are trying to accomplish these moves. This page is advocacy group. It cannot redirect to itself, and it's not clear why it would link to a disambiguation page which links back here. (The premise of a disambiguation page where both main topics are covered on the same page is confusing in itself). As far as I can tell, the entire effective difference between the two terms is due to regional usage; it should probably return to interest group on the basis of WP:RETAIN. Christopher Parham (talk) 15:33, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I understand now - there is also a redirect on talk:interest group which is where I intended to leave the above comment. I fully understand why you are confused but hopefully it makes more sense as a comment about the Interest group redirect. For the avoidance of doubt the question is simply about whether Interest group should redirect here or to Interest group (disambiguation). Would it be appropriate to remove the redirect from that talk page and to move the above comment to the place where I intended to put it? PeterEastern (talk) 18:19, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Interest group should absolutely redirect here. Almost all the uses of the term refer to the usage discussed here. Christopher Parham (talk) 19:34, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
To be clear we are talking about the redirect of the talk page, not the redirect of the article itself. I have now removed the redirect on talk:Interest group and have placed the above comment on it. I think everything is now sorted out ok - I hope others agree. PeterEastern (talk) 20:47, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Adversarial groups[edit]

I'm not sure this section is very useful. It just contains a list of pressure groups with generally conflicting objectives, and it's not true that these groups are direct adversaries. The suggestion that the The Automobile Association and the Pedestrian's Association are directly in conflict is particularly contentious. --Ef80 (talk) 20:07, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

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  1. ^ See Amazon books classifications