THE LEGITIMISATION OF EXTREME RIGHT IN AUSTRIA

Abstract

Author(s): Murat AKTAS

In Austria, the extreme-right Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) came to power by forming a coalition in December 2017. In July 2018, the prime minister of this coalition took over the rotating EU presidency. In 1999 when the FPÖ, under the leadership of Jörg Haider, had 26.9 % of the vote and began the coalition talks, EU countries severly reacted. However, the coalition in 2017 has been accepted as a normal political proces. How then, after 18 years, the coalition of the same parties began to be seen as a normal political process? Moreover, the Prime Minister of this extreme-right and popülist coalition has taken the EU’s presidency. This study, which addresses legitimation process of the FPÖ in Austria, also finds that this process is also a process of legitimizing of immigraphobia (anti immigration) and islamophobia (anti Islam and anti Muslims).

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