A Pressure Group is defined as a group of people, more or less organised, which tires to influence and pressurise the government in order to fulfil the interest of its members or the group interest in general. Unlike political parties, these groups neither contest elections nor try to capture political power.
Their activities are confined to influencing the policies and programmes of the government to fulfil their specific interests. According to Myron Weiner, Pressure Groups are those voluntary and organised groups outside the government, which try to influence the appointment of government officials, the making and implementation of public policies and the election process. V.O. Key Junior also holds similar views about the meaning of pressure groups.
Characteristics of Pressure Groups
1. They influence the policy making for their own specific interests.
2. Pressure Groups are related to some specific areas like professional activities.
3. They indirectly participate in political activities.
4. They do not participate in the struggle to capture political power. Hence they do not take part in elections.
5. But they influence the political power to a great extent and that is why they are termed as ‘Anonymous Empire’