Difference Between Political Parties and Interest Group

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: November 13, 2022


Difference Between Political Parties and Interest Group Difference Between Political Parties and Interest Group

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The terms political parties and interest groups, both are in a way interrelated to one another. Political parties influence people to take votes and to come into the supreme power of that place, whereas interest groups have a different aim to achieve that is to maintain a common mindset as theirs in the veins of the public.

Yet another point says that their objectives are pole apart, as the political parties have the sole objective of leaning into the comfort of power and rule as well as to defeat the other fellow parties in their competition. They want to enjoy the authority that arrives after winning an election, the position in the society thereby leading to immense respect and wealth. On the other page of the book, interest groups do not influence the people for their good, they have certain and adequate topics on which they work and spread useful information.  They are specialized in their knowledge and don’t roam around without a special cause.

Political Parties vs Interest Groups

Political parties are a much more recognized group of people made for operating a specific area, state, or country. They are politically abstract and are in the authority of making the major decisions in their territory. As we all must be aware of that, every particular thing has a limitation, similarly, these parties are also in a limited extent of rule once they come into the power and the position.

The appropriate name given to the interest groups is ‘pressure groups’. The reason or explanation behind this is, that the decisions made by any political body of authority have to be exerted in the minds of the citizens. These groups do the same task of spreading a particular idea and focusing upon it to the fullest. In another phase, it does the task of influencing the policymakers, they generally fund independently and do not have any advocacy issues.

Difference Between Political Parties And Interest Groups In Tabular Form

Table: Political Parties vs Interest Groups
Political parties
Interest groups
These are legal groups of people working as the intermediator of the decision made by the government to the common people/ citizens.
These are the groups that do not act for the limelight whereas they act for spreading awareness to the common people/ citizens.
The objective they follow is to make attractive headlines and schemes to make the candidate of their party win to gain authority.
The objective of these groups is to make a global issue or a sizzling topic of concern’s awareness among the citizens.
The size of the party does not matter as it can not decide the efficiency of the mindset of the candidate.
The size of these groups matters, as a big grouping will have a far reach and much influence on the citizens.
These are flexible as they change their ideas and schemes to win the election, always looking for the better options, they move forward with new and better opportunities to rely on leading to a flexible structure.
They have a rigid and inflexible structure as they do not change their cause just for getting attention. They follow a stable topic and scheme for the work.
The issues in which they deal are education, infrastructure, health, insurance, etc.
The issues in which they deal are topics of concern such as women’s Empowerment, abortion, child development, financial and economic changes, etc.
Political participation
These are the ones that directly participate in the election and other processes, they have to elect a candidate and be the participator in every consequence.
These are the ones that do not participate directly in the election process. Still, they affect the political processes indirectly.
These are more said to be giving priority to the wealthy parties and are capable of letting the influent candidates win.
These are more independent than the political parties, they do not give priority to any specific group rather they provide the same kind of knowledge to every citizen.

What Are Political Parties?

A group of people having a common ideology for the sake of winning may be being miles apart but they come together politically to form a group and hold up the power that arrives along with winning of election and coming into authority. The main agenda of such political parties is to establish the criteria taken by them into the minds of the people, thus receiving votes in return for mobilizing the voters to move towards voting for them with the common pace of interests, fixations, and thus policies too.

Parties formed for different causes have different formations and thus distinguished motives and objectives leading to uniqueness yet likeliness in every political party. 

Types Of Political Parties

Cadre Parties

The early 19th century parties like the federalists come under the roof of this type of party, they are generally small and confined parties, and they have limited members that too in the form of their leaders, these used to have a great impact on the citizens as they were great in their performance, for such great performance requires such great finance that was provided from outside the party. In the same way as to how the advertisements or boxers were given a subscriber/ funder that is from outside the way but sees his good in investing.

Mass Parties

They are generally a group of more centralized members. There is a brief history behind this, the end of universal suffrage resulted in invoking self-consciousness among the bounded workers, leading them on to do something outraging. They are contrasted from that of cadre parties as the funding and financing of the party is not done by any outsider rather it is financed by themselves, they come to head with a cause and not just to get popularized or be in power, that is the result of their large membership base.

Catch All Parties

These are the updated version of mass parties, as they also work for a cause and have the common members. They have a whole set of views working in their system. The reason behind why they are often called ‘big tent parties’ is that they are large in number and work towards multiple causes. The motivation is boosted when the financing part is not left to them only but is funded by donations or the state.

Cartel Parties

In the post-1970s these parties emerged as ‘semi-state agencies’, at first these parties used to be following an ideology and a principle of working as a whole, they initially were a group having a common idea and an objective to achieve later on these cartel parties came up as a lesser role for the members and a greater role of the resources. They make it difficult for the new emerging parties to come up and win the election.

Niche Parties

These parties were the grouping with a nationalists point of view, they were following a specific cause and working towards it as a whole. Their emergence was a result of gaps between large common people’s issues like immigration, health care, etc.  Their focus is adapted to the issues that are not taken by the other type of government parties. Later on, with the increasing corruption in every system, these are also immensely affected and laid down on the path which they used to follow.

Entrepreneurial Parties

The main objective of this party is to give preference to a specific individual to come up as the winner and the particular ruler and have an entrepreneurial cause, many of the parties only aim at making one of the candidates win by tit or tat, whereas this is quite different from that set of thinking and work toward making appropriate conditions and works for the fruit of winning.

What is an Interest Group?

Many names are given to these groups such as ‘lobby groups’, ‘pressure groups’, or ‘advocacy groups. Every name has a specific connotation that is quite correct in its definition. These groups have their main objective to influence the mindset of people by instructing off their ideology and common interests that they share, they electioneer and do lobbying in the name of achieving the common political interests that they share.

Types of Interest Groups

Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA)

This Andolan was initiated to promote the survival of the common citizens, and tribals living nearby. This included hunger strikes, rallies, and many more. Interest groups have a centralized point of view for achieving their ideology. These had human right activist and social workers working for the residents of the part where the dam was about to be built.

Confederation of Indian Industry  (CII)

Founded in 1895, Delhi, India is a non-governmental, non-profit making institution. They all have an approach to protecting the environment during the industrial growth, the reason behind its importance is that the industries produce a lot of junk, waste, harmful pesticides, nuclear wastes, etc. All this leads to the need of protecting the environment from growth instincts also. This is a large grouping of around 9000 members from both the private and public sectors. SMEs and MNCs also play a large role in the work.

Akhil Bhartiya Vidya Parishad (ABVP)

This was founded in 1948, and officialized in1949. It stands today as the biggest student organization with around 3 million members. Student elections in Delhi University and immense participation in various causes as agitational topics like Hindu- Muslim riots have given a boost to several members. The students from Gujarat and Bihar also come up to participate and perform. It is seen as only a student wing of RSS and not part of BJP.

All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS)

This was initiated in Bihar with the motive of providing rights and justice to the peasants and workers, the cases in which the zamindars take over the lands of peasants by attacking them directly or indirectly. From Bihar, the movement spread to the whole of India and intensified with the flow of time and deeds. The interest groups worked as a whole for providing equated justice to the non-wealthy, easily discriminated peasants.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)

Having a membership of about 6 million members, it is a volunteer organization. Later on, recognized as the Sangh Parivar, it was specifically organized to reach unity and remove the valor of the outsiders like that of the Britishers, Hindu-Muslim relations were also a point to note while making up this institution. RSS does various tasks which include operation and initialization of Arya samaj and removing the barriers to the Indian knowledge and operations.

Oppositions done to the Indian national flag, the partitions created, the attitude towards the lower communities, and the khilafat movement, all of them were major contributors to the formation of RSS.


The parties and interest groups both are working towards their respective objectives, the parties working for coming in power and authority on the other hand interest group is keen to face the harsh realities of the world and knowingly volunteering in participation and working towards common objectives and aims. Interest groups have less fan base in the old times that is about in the 1950s but the things have changed for the good and they have received their point as per the authority and responsibility part saying now about the Political parties nowadays are popular because of a much more materialistic outside view and a lesser optimistic and grand view. Interest groups were not as popular in the old times but have gotten a well-signified position in the world today. For the efficiency of India in the today’s date both of the parts is important and integral to the system as they contribute in a different yet effective way such that a change is about to come and is in the processing stage now, and if all of us will support all of this without any loop then the target will be achieved soon.


  • Mainwaring, Scott P. [1999] Rethinking Party Systems in the Third Wave of Democratization: The Case of Brazil 
  • Sartori, Giovanni [1976] Parties and Party Systems: A Framework for Analysis, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Binder, Leonard [1978] In a Moment of Enthusiasm: Political Power and the Second Stratum in Egypt 



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"Difference Between Political Parties and Interest Group." Diffzy.com, 2023. Sun. 02 Apr. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-political-parties-and-interest-group-1096>.

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