activity by an individual or group which aims to influence decisions within systems and institutions

Advocacy can be defined as "public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy".[1] It is a political process by an individual or group which aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions.

Advocacy can include many activities that a person or organization undertakes. These can include media campaigns, public speaking, commissioning and publishing research. It can include conducting exit polls or the filing of an amicus brief. Lobbying (often by lobby groups) is a form of advocacy. This is where a direct approach is made to legislators on an issue in modern politics.[2] Professional lobbyists are employed by advocacy groups also called special interest groups.

There are any number of corporations, religious groups, citizen groups, think tanks and foundations who want to make sure their interests are heard by lawmakers.[3] This is both in the United States and the European Union.[3] Advocacy groups also use their influence in the election and appointing of judges.[4]


  1. "advocacy". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 23 July 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  2. "Lobbying Versus Advocacy: Legal Definitions". NP Action. Archived from the original on 2010-04-02. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Christine Mahoney, Brussels versus the Beltway: Advocacy in the United States and the European Union (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2008), p. 1 Link Archived 2016-03-21 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Dimino, Michael R., 'We Have Met the Special Interests, and We Are They', Missouri Law Review (2009), HighBeam Research. (July 23, 2015) Link Archived 2016-04-09 at the Wayback Machine