Article Review: Political Science
Interest groups are found in any nation because of their desires to win over the dictatorships that are controlling the countries. While analyzing the concept of interest groups, Michael G. Roskin has done a perfect job distinguishing them from other parties in the nation. The authors have discussed this aspect in the political system in very direct, simple and brief terms that makes it easy for the readers to comprehend and understand the concepts.
The definition of interest group as the collection of people who are trying to influence the government is simple and easy to understand. Going further, the authors make claims that the group’s aims are to influence not only the government but also particular policies in the nation with the main intention of bringing about change. These interest groups work through legislative sectors or the judicial or at times through the administrative agencies. This enables the readers to understand their position in the nation or government structures.
On the other hand, the authors have used a specific structure that makes it easy to follow their discussions on interest groups. They have used various sub-headings and titles which are bolded in order to make it easy for the readers to identify their area of discussion. While addressing the goals of the interest groups, their main claim is that they obtain power by influencing the executives and legislators. However, when it comes to political parties, they instead favor only one party which is true. To further expound on this point, the authors have claimed that the nature of membership of the interest group in any political party is broad. This is because their aim is to draw at the gender, environmental and religious goals to show their democratic nature. The nature of membership enables the readers to understand the author’s claims regarding interest groups being over-represented since they comprise of various religious, economic, ethnic, educational, industrial, and cultural groups.
The main relationship that the interest groups have with the government is to promote democracy. Nevertheless, the authors have contradicted their explanation at this point when they decided to include the drug cartels to be part of the interest groups that aims at promoting democracy. This makes the readers question the role of some interest groups in promoting true democracy. It is because organizations such as the cartels are not able to operate within the law or even work together with the government to promote democracy in a nation because of the nature of their interest and business. At the same time, it is impossible to understand the manner in which the government created such interest groups like the cartel. On the other hand, the authors had initially claimed that the interest group’s role is to influence the government which makes it more contradictory to know the ways in which the government can come up with such a group as the cartels to manipulate the manner in which they operate.
In chapter 10 of the book, while discussing the topic on parties, the authors began by explaining to the readers the history of parties in the United States. This makes it easy for the readers to have a clear picture on the topic especially its history, a knowledge that they can use to understand the reasons various political parties in the nation functions. On the other hand, the functions of parties as addressed in the book are straightforward and easy to relate with in today’s political system. For instance, the idea regarding parties being a bridge between the government and the people is true because this is a role that they have been playing for a long period. The claim that the interest groups promote aggregation is also true because without them, there would not be any moderation in regards to government works, meeting demands and cooperation with the public. The authors have also done a perfect job in comparing parties in democracies across the world. This enables the readers to have a wider view on political parties enabling them to understand their various roles. It is revealed that majority of the parties are less transparent when it comes to their financing activities However, the law has been able to regulate their contributions towards politics as a way to promote democracy. Through the use of side notes, the authors have made it easy for the readers to identify various points making it easy to go through the article.
In Chapter 11, the authors have made it clear regarding the reasons that prompt people to vote today and what contributes to the low turnout. According to the book, many of the Americans are always uninterested in voting while others are not satisfied with the candidates who are standing for various posts. By comparing the voting system in Europe, the readers acquired a wider knowledge on what prompts other nations to vote better than others. The authors claim that European voter turnout is huge because the process of registration is more automatic. The case studies in the book have helped the readers to have a clear view regarding the discussion on various topics.
In conclusion, the authors have addressed various topics throughout the book using direct, simple and brief terms that is easy to read, understand and comprehend the meaning. The author has also used various items such as case studies and short notes to make it easy to read and understand the book. However, the limitation of the book involves contradicting statements that are hard to comprehend which leaves the readers confused.