Does the loser lose everything? Small parties in modern democracies
Small parties can be recognized as very interesting phenomena of modern democracy. Nevertheless, they are often ignored by political scientists. Such approach may be recognized as quite reasonable because in most cases only the winners obtain influence on the decision-making process. This monopoly makes them naturally interesting for analysts. However, much scientific interest is attracted by green and radical parties that might certainly be treated as small ones. In this context the problem of defining ‘smallness’ becomes one of the greatest importance.
Hitherto some research concerning small parties in Western Europe were conducted. Notwithstanding there were no such efforts made in Eastern European countries. It means that searching for the conceptualization of the ‘smallness’ in this region is still a challenging task. Moreover, small parties have a great impact on structure of competition in Eastern Europe as party systems of the region are in many cases much more fragmented than in Western European countries.