Meaning, Types and Characteristics of Pressure Group

Olawunmi Omosanya - Thu, 21st March, 2019 @ 15:58: PM

What are Pressure Groups?

To begin with, one of the meanings of the word "pressure" is to coerce or persuade someone into doing something. I believe you may have seen or encounter one or more groups who attempt to stand up for their rights or the rights of others. These groups are important and interesting to study because they may influence not only governmental policies through their actions, but also any political institution, society, person or group.

By definition, a pressure group is any formal and organized body or group with a common interest and whose main aim is to put pressure on any governmental institution with the goal of influencing government policies and laws to their own advantage.

Pressure groups are present in every country of the world. Often times, they do not go directly into politics, although, they usually stand by some political parties and even promote their cause or quest. An example of a pressure group whose voice is often heard in Nigeria is the Academic Staff Union for Universities or ASUU. Other examples are:

  • Arewa Consultative Forum (AFC)

  • Ijaw Youth Council (IYC)

  • Ohanaeze Ndigbo

  • Afenifere

  • Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)

  • Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)

  • Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC)


Types of Pressure Group 

The people who make up each pressure groups will determine what type it will be. We would see these through their respective actions and activities. Below are the different types.

  1. Religious pressure group: They raise concerns to government over religious issues.

  2. Gender pressure group: They fight for gender based interest. 

  3. Social pressure group:  They promote the interest of their groups e.g girl's guide.

  4. Economic pressure group: They focus mainly on the economic progress of their members, e.g Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).

  5. Ethnic Pressure Group: They stand for their cultural interests, e.g Ohanaeze Ndigbo,  Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) and Arewa Peoples Congress (APC). 

  6. Professional pressure group: They comprise of persons with similar profession or occupation and always stand up for the work they do, e.g Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)

  7. Anomic Pressure Group: This group uses violence and demonstrations to achieve their goal of interest, e.g Student Riot Group.


Characteristics or Features of Pressure Group

  1. They make use of the internet, social media, radio, TV and press conferences to promote their cause.

  2. They are formed to protect their own common interest.

  3. Most of them work in tandem with political parties.

  4. They will not normally recruit for members because they are bound by common interest.

  5. They may use ultimatum when dialog is not reached.

  6. They are known for their proper organization of activities.

Topics in Government

Gender Equality and how we can achieve it Meaning, Types and Characteristics of Pressure Group Meaning, Types, Qualities and Importance of Constitution Organs or Arms or Branches of Government


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