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"Salvation and villain: The role of `Europe' in Austrian politics and the rise of right-wing populism"

Heinisch, Reinhard. (2003) "Salvation and villain: The role of `Europe' in Austrian politics and the rise of right-wing populism". In: UNSPECIFIED, Nashville, TN. (Unpublished)

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    "Europe" played a significant role in the rise of right-wing populism in Austria, first by presenting a counter example to the Austrian model and subsequently an external threat, both of which allowed the right-wing populist Freedom Party to mobilize people and form a disparate coalition of voters. As this paper argues, however, this was less a question of ideology. As principally a populist party concerned with maximizing its success at the game of elections, the FPO always flexibly adapted its position to take advantage of the political opportunities that presented themselves in an evolving Union and a changing Europe. However, the Freedom Party was only able to do so because its leadership, especially Jorg Haider, was keenly aware of the ambiguity in the relationship between Austria and Europe, benefiting from Austria's historical skepticism of Western modernity, its relative isolation from Atlanticist Europe, its ambivalence toward liberal market economies, and its lack of national identity. For all parties in Austrian politics, "Europe" thus served as an escape mechanism, an instrument of political mobilization, and an image projecting either modernity or an alien threat. Most significantly, a country that had long defined itself in relation to Germany, now defines itself politically in relation to Europe.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > europeanisation/europeanization & European identity
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > political parties
    Countries > Austria
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2003 (8th), March 27-29, 2003
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2005
    Page Range: p. 47
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:24

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