Difference Between Pressure Group and Interest Group

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Pressure Group and Interest Group

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An interest group is a broader term, whereas pressure groups are a narrower concept. Both have their separate behavior and nature of action. These groups were made in London, England, in the early 18th century, but they rose in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
The functioning of interest groups is different from the way that we think. Let us take an example to understand that. First of all, let us all choose up a topic, let it be save water. Nah, already taken up by many groups, then save wood? Nope, it is too faded up, so what about using technology wisely? Yeah, it would be good to take up. Having only two persons for support will not be enough to make a change or get a strong influence. Also, the fact that the government does not fund these groups in any sort of way. Hence, support is needed, and that too of a large group, then the change will initialize to begin.

Pressure Groups vs. Interest Groups

Pressure groups are a subdivision of interest groups. The pressure groups are generally an organization that is formalized and follows their rules strictly, funds up themselves, raising donations, and making techniques to follow up the interest that they have gathered. These groups follow an interest that is common and generalized to all so that there will be no further disturbance in the group regarding any of the interests they seek. They are seen to be using coercive techniques to make their groups work. They are only created for a specific interest, and once they influence the policymakers effectively, they dissolve.

On the other hand, interest groups are not such lobbying organizations rather. They are only formalized for communication and monetary term. They have their base set up as the organizations that work for the particular interests that they see as a global issue or a cause of concern. Interest groups don’t put up pressure on the common citizens. Rather they find ways that can be beneficial for their task. They are seen to be lobbying, but they are not political by nature.

Difference between pressure groups and interest groups in tabular form

Basis Pressure groups Interest groups
Definition The political nature grouping is formed only for a specific purpose and pressures up the policymakers influencingThe interest groups are more of a settled version. They are created only for specific interests and seen to be influencing every political body and policymaker on the policies already in the run but are needed to be put a full stop.
Tactics followed The tactics followed by them are rather more cunning and forceful than that of interest groups, they are using techniques that are more influential than interest groups.The tactics followed by them are less cunning and are seen to be influencing those only who are negatively affecting society, the policies or techniques adopted by them are very calm and peaceful compared to that of pressure groups.
Regulatory policy The pressure groups are more regulatory as they are the ones who influence the whole process of policies, they are strictly protected under the authority of the government and have strict prohibitions on giving payoffs to the policymakers or providing free food to impress them.The interest groups are rather more peaceful policy adopters and do not have any regulations by any of the authorities, the regulation comes in place when some fundraising or some official task is happening in the group.
Controlling These organizations are formalized or act as companies/non-profit organizations. Because of this, they are strictly organized by the law.These organizations are not always formalized but act as nonprofit organizations. At some point, when these organizations are taking donations, then this will be under the law.
Purpose/ objective The purpose is to achieve any non-policy interest that must be achieved by one or another.The purpose is to take up anyone mutual interest of many and see it up as a whole without any further disturbance.
Examples All India Kisan Sabha, All India Student Federation, Harijan Sevak Sangh, etc., are some examples of pressure groups.AIDS Policy Centre for Children, Youth, and Families, Affordable Housing Industry Information, American Association of People with Disabilities, etc.

What are Pressure Groups?

The pressure groups, as we all have read above, are a subdivision of interest groups. They pressurize the policymakers to make up their mind and shift their mindset. The elected officials are the main focus of the pressure groups. They are so in focus because the policy made by them may not be suitable for the public and, in a way, must be harming them or others.
We can also call it a liaison between the government and the members of a pressure group.

Types of Pressure Groups

They have certain subdivisions also but mainly they are grouped into three types;

The three divisions are as follows;

Economic pressure groups

These are the pressure groups that are seeing off the economy as the financial aspect or objective that every policy seeks to expect. These groups see the financial see off issues and try to resolve them by making their influencing power strong and stable. Many of the groups specifically focus on numerous organizations and act as formalized groups acting on behalf with the federal government's support.
These groups seek pressure on the policymakers that are making policies regarding the economy and are in a way of finding a way to put down the policies that are affecting the finances and the economic condition of a common person living hereby.

Professional groups

These are the pressure groups that act to influence the public, they also organize and set up such influencing criteria, and as a whole, they try to influence the government policies for making a professional system and not elect the candidate to office.
They act as a vital link between the policies maker and those affected by the policy maker. Hence, specifically, this group is acting for a professional association like that of professional associations that may be business organizations or can be of great use to the non-profit generating organizations. These groups have an influencing nature and make up the situation so critical that the policy they are standing against has surely come up in favor of the organizations that are seeing or facing the problems. 

Social Groups

These are the groups that come along for the common cause of social issues and the problem faced by society. These groups act as the face of the whole society. Society needs many such social groups who can act for the welfare of such social issues. They are the merrymaker of the societies that see any societal issue regarding their power.
Society works for the common cause by influencing the socially affecting policymakers. They not only affect them but also exert pressure to make up the deed of society correct. These social groups are the society settlers as they are the only ones who work for the rights of common people living in any society. Hence they are a common objective for every person to have the rights that all must have.

What are Interest Groups?

The interest groups are officially known to be advocacy group that is responsible for making certain lawful interests for the common interest of all and accomplishing it. These groups are popular worldwide, with their bases settled up years ago. The interest groups act according to the public, and they influence public opinion by doing various tasks and performing them for the welfare of the public.
Their key function is to produce pressure and solve the interests of the members of the group to maintain and fulfill the objective of the interest groups.
The members acting in their interest group are seen to be more motivated and self-inspired for a cause that must be taken into account, and because of the motivation, they are fastened up in their roles and are working together for a common goal.

Types of Interest Groups

The interest groups also have certain subdivisions but are mainly categorized into two divisions.

Economic Group

They play an integral role in a capitalist society. This group is further divided into four types, which are as follows.

Business Groups

These are the groups that mainly seek benefit for the private companies and the corporation by providing tax reliefs or any such thing that benefits them and act as a helping hand to grow further. The group's main objective is to promote the business as it is one of the most important aspects of any nation.
The advocates of different companies may work for one another, these are working for one business as the interest groups, and at the same time, it may harm another business firm as it may act differently and opposite to them.

Labor Groups

This category of the group generally acts for the labor, and the labor laws, acting for the welfare of the labor and how they survive. The surviving laborers consider the wages they are getting and the discrimination they face in society.
Labor laws got their significance at their peak in the 19th century, and from that time onwards, the labor groups got up and flourished.

Agricultural Groups

The federal government represents the farmers, funds them, and supports the farmers by providing them with various settlements and helpings so that the farmers who are facing some issues must get themselves all organized up.

Professional Associations

The professional associations are made specifically for the welfare of the separate organizations, which have their lobbies entangled with the government.

Non-Economic Interest Groups

These are the groups that have the sole motive of seeking one of the common interests through the authority and responsibility they have. They do not work or group for the material gain of any of the members or organizations.

Public Interest Groups

They work for the whole society and not only for any specific society or type of organization. Rather they see the interest as a major topic of concern and to worry about. They are working for the larger welfare of the whole society. Rather they are certain in their working system.

Single Issue Group

These are the groups that do not have their cause of concern as a mix of many. Rather they specify and stick up to a single issue and work for it with their full capability. One of the major single issues that such interest groups are seeing is to stop and put up a strict ban on female foeticide.

Ideological Groups

They are also specified in their interests and the schemes that they must follow. They work for any of the ideas that support the culture, the norms, the religion.

Government Groups

These groups follow and respect the ideology of the other governmental parties and representatives that may be following a bigger section.


The groups are working for one or another cause, but none of them support any illegal activity. Rather they have their focus on supporting society, the government, and the people who are suffering from some issue. These are federal and formalized for making up the rights of the persons all clear and set for going up.



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"Difference Between Pressure Group and Interest Group." Diffzy.com, 2024. Sun. 25 Feb. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-pressure-group-and-interest-group-1106>.

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