Difference Between Pressure Group and Civil Society

Society is a group of people who work for the mutual benefit of the people.  Such as religious, cultural, scientific, political, patriotic, or other purposes.


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_______ is a rule of conduct, just, obligatory, and laid down by a legitimate power.

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_______ is the agreement of the will of one contracting party with that of another or others, upon the object and terms of the contract

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To _____ is to find fault with, criticize, or condemn.

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There are some group of people who works for the betterment of society, development, bring change in among people and fighting against many causes and freedom.

It is a general norm, that businesses offer goods and services in the exchange of money and law and order is taken care of by the government.

Pressure Group vs Civil Society

The difference between a Pressure group and civil society is Pressure group is a group of people, who tries to influence or pressurize the government to fulfill the interest of its members. Whereas Civil society is a group or organization that works for citizens’ interest without involving the government.

Pressure Group vs Civil Society

Pressure group and Civil society are also part of the community. Pressure Group is a set of people, considered to be organized to some extent, help reformation by influencing the government.

Civil society is a group of people working in the interest of the citizens at the same time they operate outside the government sectors.       


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonPressure GroupCivil Society
StructureMembership organizationMostly non-membership organization
ProcedureConflict oriented and instrumental reasoningMutual Consent Oriented and Constitutive Reasoning
SubstantiationShares common interestIdeational, Public Claims
ObjectiveTo influence people who have the power to make a decisionTo fight for the betterment of society
FunctionTo make government or decision-maker more attentive to needs of the peopleTo work for Protection, Social cause, Advocation on the favor of Public


What is Pressure Group?

The term Pressure Group originated from the USA. A pressure group can be defined as a group of people that does not put up candidates for election, but seek to influence government policy or legislation.

These groups promote and protect a particular interest or a set of interest or some ideals cause (protection of environmental defending human rights for example) by pressuring the government.

A pressure group is to influence the people in power to make decisions by the government through legal and legitimate methods. They operate as a bridge between the people and the government.

Pressure Groups always establish the positives and negatives in front of the members as well as the general public to seek attention from the government.

They organize meetings, campaigns and also file petitions for gaining public support and sympathy. At times, even the media inclines to feature their campaigns for mass attraction.

They are different from the political parties as they neither contest in elections nor not try to capture political power, but their activism influences the Government decision.

Pressure groups provide a means of popular participation in national politics during elections. They have the power to gather support to create or cancel any legislation.

The Pressure groups use methods like strike, bandh, demonstration, funding political parties, parties to get their interests fulfilled.

pressure group

What is Civil Society?

Civil Society is a group that operates outside the government who share mutual interests and purposes. The Civil Society plays an important role in the development of the human community.

Public and Private sectors are different from the Civil Society. Civil society has no requirements from the outside like from public or private sector.

Civil Society, on the whole, can be a labour union, non-governmental organization and charitable institutions.

Filling gaps in services, providing services not provided adequately by government or business, especially to marginalized and underserved groups.

Fighting against corruption and human rights violation. Civil society differs from civil society organizations. It also focuses on social justice and economic justice decision

Its main function is keeping an eye on government and business, ever alert for corruption, waste, violations of rights, and inequalities.

UN Women to promote gender equality, women’s rights, and empowerment, World Health Organization (WHO) for health-related efforts and UNICEF on child-related issues are some of the Civil Society organizations.

civil society

Main Differences Between Pressure Group and Civil Society

  1. The main difference between a Pressure group and Civil Society is, the Pressure group is a group of people, who tries to influence or pressurize the government to fulfil the interest of its members. Whereas Civil society is a group or organization who work for Public interest without being part of the government.
  2. Pressure Group is a group of people who has common interest and no relationship with any kind of organizations. Whereas Civil society has a close relationship with Intergovernmental organization.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1149558
  2. https://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Citation/1960/11000/Pressure_Group_Politics.35.aspx
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