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Advocacy group

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An advocacy group, also known as a pressure group, lobby group, or campaign group, is an organized collection of individuals seeking to influence public policy and societal attitudes. These groups operate in various sectors, such as politics, economy, and society, and their influence spans from local to international levels. Historically, advocacy groups have played significant roles in movements like abolitionism, women’s rights, and gay rights. They exert influence through various means, including lobbying[1], legal defense funds, and media advocacy. Their dynamics include dealing with the free rider problem and utilizing solidarity and expressive incentives. Advocacy groups can also be adversarial, representing opposing views on issues such as abortion rights, animal testing, and tobacco legislation. They are powerful tools for social change, often shaping policy and public opinion.

Terms definitions
1. lobbying. Lobbying is a political practice where individuals or groups advocate for specific outcomes in the legislation process. The term originates from the Latin words 'lobium' and 'lobium', which mean gallery or hall, reflecting the historical practice of debating in such spaces. Lobbying primarily targets legislative bodies, though it can also influence judicial decisions. Often, lobbyists work on behalf of organizations or individuals to influence the creation and modification of laws and regulations. However, lobbying can lead to ethical concerns and potential conflicts of interest, particularly when it serves private interests over public welfare. Therefore, it's regulated by governments to ensure transparency and prevent corruption. Despite its controversies, lobbying plays a significant role in shaping government decisions, policies, and actions, intertwining it deeply with public affairs and government relations.
Advocacy group (Wikipedia)

Advocacy groups, also known as lobby groups, interest groups, special interest groups, pressure groups, or public associations use various forms of advocacy and/or lobbying in order to influence public opinion and ultimately public policy. They play an important role in the development of political and social systems.

Motives for action may be based on political, economic, religious, moral, commercial or common good-based positions. Groups use varied methods to try to achieve their aims, including lobbying, media campaigns, awareness raising publicity stunts, polls, research, and policy briefings. Some groups are supported or backed by powerful business or political interests and exert considerable influence on the political process, while others have few or no such resources.

Some have developed into important social, political institutions or social movements. Some powerful advocacy groups have been accused of manipulating the democratic system for narrow commercial gain and in some instances have been found guilty of corruption, fraud, bribery, influence peddling and other serious crimes; Some groups, generally ones with less financial resources, may use direct action and civil disobedience and in some cases are accused of being a threat to the social order or 'domestic extremists'. Research is beginning to explore how advocacy groups use social media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action.

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