Managing the Migrant Crisis
How Europe Pushes Migrants Onto Boats
The Return of No-Man’s Land
Europe's Asylum Crisis and Historical Memory
A Self-Interested Approach to Migration Crises
Push Factors, Pull Factors, and Investing In Refugees
The Elephant in the Room
Islam and the Crisis of Liberal Values in Europe
Jordan's Refugee Experiment
A New Model for Helping the Displaced
France on Fire
The Charlie Hebdo Attack and the Future of al Qaeda
Laïcité Without Égalité
Can France Be Multicultural?
Europe's Dangerous Multiculturalism
Why the Continent Fails Minority Groups
ISIS' Next Target
Terrorism After Brussels
The French Connection
Explaining Sunni Militancy Around the World
The French Disconnection
Francophone Countries and Radicalization
The Myth of Lone-Wolf Terrorism
The Attacks in Europe and Digital Extremism
Keeping Europe Safe
Counterterrorism for the Continent
The Continent's Leader Needs Intelligence Reform
British Counterterrorism Policy After Westminster
London Can Do More to Prevent Radicalization
Europe’s Populist Surge
A Long Time in the Making
Merkel's Last Stand
Letter from Berlin
There Is No Alternative
Why Germany’s Right-Wing Populists Are Losing Steam
The Schulz Effect Faces Its First Test
Will Reviving Germany's Social Democrats Be Enough to Unseat Merkel?
The Future of Dutch Democracy
What the Election Revealed About the Establishment—and Its Challengers
The Right Way to Leave the EU
Pulling the Trigger on Brexit
And Passing the Point of No Return
Theresa May's Gamble
Why Britain's Snap Election Will Do Little to Ease Brexit
France’s Next Revolution?
A Conversation With Marine Le Pen
Europe in Russia's Digital Cross Hairs
What’s Next for France and Germany—and How to Deal With It
Why French Voters Rejected Le Pen
Austria's Populist Puzzle
Why One of Europe's Most Stable States Hosts a Thriving Radical Right
Europe's Hungary Problem
Viktor Orban Flouts the Union
Europe's Autocracy Problem
Polish Democracy's Final Days?
For many international observers, Austria’s flirtation with right-wing populism is something of a puzzle. Austria is one of the European Union's most prosperous countries and has long been a model of political and social stability. It has an efficient government, excellent public infrastructure, and generally low unemployment and crime rates. And although Austrians could once be faulted for their unwillingness to confront their nation’s culpability for Nazism and the Holocaust, that too has changed in recent years, as public awareness of the country’s role in both of those tragedies has deepened.
Nevertheless, over the past three decades, radical right-wing populism has been more electorally successful in Austria than perhaps anywhere else in western Europe. On December 4, in Austria’s presidential election, voters delivered a clear victory to Alexander Van der Bellen, the former head of the left-wing Greens. Yet Norbert Hofer, the candidate of the right-wing populist Austrian Freedom Party, won some 46 percent of the vote, not only setting a new record for his party but also securing more support than any other western European right-wing populist group has ever achieved in a national election.
Hofer’s defeat seemed to break a winning streak for populist and antiestablishment forces that has roiled the West over the past year. But if Austria’s mainstream parties want to keep the Freedom Party from another strong showing in the next parliamentary election, they need to overcome the deadlock that has prevented them from introducing reforms so that they can stimulate the economy, combat unemployment, and get a handle on Austria's refugee and immigration policy.
FROM POLITICAL INTEGRATION TO SOCIAL EROSION
Austria is governed by a parliamentary coalition comprising the center-left Social Democrats and the center-conservative People’s Party. These two parties and their immediate predecessors founded the Austrian Republic in 1918, presided over its reconstitution after World War II, and have ruled ever since, mostly through grand coalitions.
In recent decades, the combined vote share of the Social Democrats and People’s
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