Rethinking small political parties: from micro to peripheral

Glenn Kefford*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


It is frequently suggested that 'micro parties' are opportunist organisations out to 'game the system'. These parties are regularly compared with supposed minor parties. There are two problems with this approach. First, attempts to operationalise 'micro party' have been ad hoc. Second, comparisons between 'micro' and minor parties are erroneous as a party type is being compared with a classification based on the relevance of parties in the party system. In rethinking small parties, the term 'micro party' should be discarded as it lacks utility. Parties referred to as 'micro parties' should be re-classified, and the classification of parties in the party system needs refinement. In particular, we should include an additional class of party in these classifications, peripheral parties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-109
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • political parties
  • Australian politics
  • comparative politics


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