So last week we talked about what special interest groups are and how they influence the political system, and today we’re going to focus on why we even have them in the first place. As to avoid getting too cynical, we’re going to focus on five benefits of special interest groups and look at how these factor weigh in a group’s formation and size. We’ll also talk about lobbyists, recent congressional action to limit their influence, and finish with a discussion of both insider and outsider strategies that interest groups use to influence policy.

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