Pressure groups are essential part of democratic process - they provide a real possibility to influence governmental decisions and transform public views into actions which often assert government to change its policy, but there are also essential lacks: the groups often defend their interests ignoring other sections of population and making misbalance in governmental policy. Pressure groups activity is widely developed in such democratic states as the United States and the United Kingdom. There are differences and similarities of pressure groups activity features in these countries, and the aim of this paper is to analyze and compare the roles played by pressure groups in U.K. and U.S. politics. The paper will be referred to common trends of U.K. and U.S. pressure groups development, as well as specific organizations and their activities in the both countries.
2. The main difference between U.K. and U.S. pressure groups activities is that there are more such groups in the United States than in the United Kingdom. ...
So, pressure groups features in Great Britain are determined by its political system. One more feature of U.K. pressure groups activity is that groups and parties in Great Britain cannot influence governmental policy so much as in the United States because of partial secretiveness of the British political system, and the range of pressure groups is not so widely presented as in the USA with their constitutional and more democratic traditions. Some of the most powerful British sectional pressure groups (groups which present interests of some sections of the population) are the National Union of Teachers, Trades Union Congress, the Confederation of British Industry, the Nation Farmer's Union and some others. There are also promotional pressure groups in U.K. politics. These groups are fighting for real aims, and they can consist as well of small amount of members as great amount. The examples of such groups are Liberty and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), but their influence on British political parties and governmental decisions is limited unlike such groups in U.S. political life. One of the reasons of this situation is that the British government is not so fragmented and decentralized as that of the United States where the policy of federalism is prevailed. So, "in the early 1980s over 250,000 supporters of CND marched in London on several occasions. Despite this show of popular support, CND failed to influence the government's defense policy" (What are promotional pressure groups). As was mentioned before, pressure groups in the political process of the United Kingdom provide wide developing of democratic processes and allow public opinion to be heard. Political parties in Great Britain cannot represent the