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Global Austria

Günter Bischof
Fritz Plasser

II. The World and Austria

The Europeanization of Austrian Political Culture: Austrian Exceptionalism Revisited

Fritz Plasser et Gilg Seeber

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Austria still represented a special case in the concert of Western democracies in the 1970s. In view of the remarkably high voter participation by international comparison, the concentration of votes on two dominant mass parties, the above average share of organized party members, the perpetuation of great-coalitional governments as well as the structural pillarization and segmentation of the electorate in political Lager, the political system of Austria has been described as “one of the most stable of the competitive systems studied.”1 Latent corrosion and structural erosion processes, however, began to raise doubts as to the hyperstability of Austria’s political system,2 which have been articulated in the 1980s ever more expressively.

The collapse of stable party allegiances and traditional Lager mentalities as the spread of latent protesting attitudes and diffuse anti-party affects indicated to a deep-seated change of Austrian politics.3 The appearance of new, populist actors in t...

© innsbruck university press, 2011

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