Insider and Outsider Groups
The difference we can see between Insider and Outsider
groups is based on a group’s relationship with government. Insider groups are
the pressure groups which have privileged, regular and usually
institutionalized access to government. They operate inside the decision-making
process, not outside which is why they called Insider groups. Of course, there
are different kind of Insider groups that we can distinguish into three
categories such as High-profile insider groups, Low-profile insider groups and
Prisoner groups (Grant, 1995).
insider groups: This kind of Insider groups work both as insider and outsider
by operating through mass-media and public-opinion campaigns.
insider groups: These are Insider groups that rather than trying to influence
the public opinion, they are focusing on building contact with governments.
Prisoner groups: These
groups are created or funded by governments and that’s why they are not
independent pressure groups.
From an external perspective, insider groups may seem
very advantageous due to the direct connections with decision makers. However,
sometimes this might be the opposite and some agreed decisions may restrict a
group’s freedom and sometimes leave them completely dependent to the government
like prisoner groups.
contrast, Outsider groups have no exclusive connection with governments. They
are either not consulted by policy makers or consulted only irregularly. For
that matter, they try to effect governments indirectly through public opinion
campaigns or via the mass media. Surely not all Outsider groups are the same.
They can be divided into three subcategories such as Potential insider groups,
Outsider groups by necessity and Ideological outsider groups (Grant, 1995).
groups: These groups desire to be an Insider group but they haven’t achieved it
Outsider groups by
necessity: These groups don’t have necessary skills and political knowledge to
be an insider group.
outsider groups: These groups are consisted by people who usually attracted to
direct action or tactics of mass activism with some radical aims that are not
agreeable with governments.
Groups might have different reasons for being
outsiders. For instance, to be denied by government for insider status might be
one of the reasons of outsider groups and in this case outsider status might
seem like a weakness. Hereat, those groups have no other option but going
public to exert indirect influence on decision makers. Another reason, to be an
outsider sometimes can be the choice of the group’s itself. This might be
because of the domestication fear of the group by closely engaging with
government or reflect the radical nature of a group’s aims. Additionally, sometimes
groups may notice that outsider strategies are better way to gain activists by
engaging potential supporters.
When we compare Insider and Outsider
pressure groups, we can see some distinctions. One of the obvious differences
is the accessibility of policy makers with regard to groups. Outsiders have
limited or no access unlike Insiders. And this accessibility usually tends to
decrease the profile of the group with its dependency. In the terms of aims, we
see that outsiders have radical goals while insiders have mainstream aims. From
the structure chart perspectives of the groups, we see that Insider groups have
strong leadership while Outsiders have strong grass roots.