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Title: The long-run development of environmental interest groups in Britain : two case studies.
Author: Law, Penelope Jane.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3605 7998
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2000
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Environmental interest groups are now acknowledged to be an important feature of British democracy, but we still know little in depth about some of their crucial characteristics. They mobilize both people and other resources for politics, disseminate and receive political information, help shape political attitudes and integrate people into the political system as a whole. Consequently, environmental interest groups are not only participants in policy making, but also influence the wider political context in which policy is made, interpreted and carried out. Notwithstanding its normative importance very little is actually known about the internal dynamics of organized environmental interests, their leaders' and members' behaviour over time. The purpose of this thesis is to challenge common assumptions and established explanations of interest group behaviour. Existing theoretical perspectives, which have in large part been synchronic, static and demand side models, are subject to test by reference to longitudinal, dynamic and supply side empirical evidence gathered from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Ramblers' Association. The thesis first presents the historical background, then focuses in depth on the two case studies, tracing their evolution from the heyday of Victorian moral and social reform to the present. By contrast, the organizational chapters examine the development of the administrative structures, the building of the membership portfolios, variations in members' benefits, the management of revenue, the role and management of member activism and corporate fundraising behaviour. By integrating historical accounts, organizational dynamics and the role of personal leadership, the thesis seeks to provide a three dimensional, robust study to supplement existing knowledge about group development. A virtue of this approach is that it is both behaviourally realistic and empirically grounded. It acknowledges the importance of the wider political and historic climate in which these groups have operated and individual members' preferences as contributory factors to the pattern of development. However, by exposing what groups themselves do it credits organizational dynamics and leaders with the prominence they really deserve in shaping outcomes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available