To the definition, structuring and systematization of the essence, types and manifestations of the relevance of “small” parties: theoretical and methodological contexts.

Vitaliy Lytvyn

The study is dedicated to analyzing, structuring and systematizing different approaches to understanding the essence of the phenomenon and types of “small” parties and based on this to theorizing and characterizing the meaning and manifestations of their relevance or irrelevance. Thus, the article is actualized by a theoretical and methodological attempt to answer the question of whether “small” parties can be interpreted as relevant ones or, conversely, should be defined and understood exclusively as marginal ones, in particular as unable to regulate various forms of inter-party competition. It is argued that Political Science has not yet developed a holistic position on the definition, structuring and systematization of the essence, types, manifestations and framework of the relevance of “small” parties. On one hand, some “small” parties are able to structure party systems and inter-party competition, and some are not. On the other hand, the characteristic of relevance is the basis for the separation or non-separation of “small” parties as such. At the same time, the article as a whole demonstrates that the relevance or irrelevance of “small” parties is not only an attribute of party system and inter-party competition, but also a characteristic of separate parties at different stages of their operation. Therefore, it was proven that “small” parties can be both relevant or irrelevant, although the latter ones, in addition, may be endowed with a unique potential for relevance, even though the manifestations of this potential are also quite different.