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Jörg Haider and the FPÖ:
A Threat to International Security

Amentahru Wahlrab
Illinois State University
May 2001


 I acknowledge that I am unable to specify, even in principle, the boundary line beyond which I think liberals ought not go in their endeavor to be open to those unlike themselves.[1]


International society theorists argue that through a combination of statecraft and international and humanitarian responsibilities, the world will begin to slowly approximate an ideal order wherein the rule of law will bestow universal human rights to all.[2]  In an even more idealistic clarification of international society logic, Betty A. Rearden answers the question of “what is peace?” by arguing that it is not simply peace between nations, respect for borders, and the traditional realist gambit of state centered international relations theory.  She argues that: “peace means as well a set of relationships among peoples and nations based on trust, cooperation, and recognition of the interdependence and importance of the common good and mutual interests of all peoples.”[3]  Advocates of an international society, like Rearden, primarily concern themselves with issues of social justice and usually make their arguments in the form of appeals to conscience.  These appeals also tend to be couched in a language of Left versus Right with internationalists on the Left.[4]   However, while simultaneously critiquing the traditional or rightist international relations stance, James Mayall offers a devastating critique of the enforcement of universal liberal values: “it is a terrible indictment of the democratic world order that its belief in a technological solution to human problems persuaded NATO that it could bomb Yugoslavia into respect for fundamental human rights.”[5]  Further, Mayall’s criticism of the contradiction between the theoretical ideals of liberalism and the costs associated with their implementation forces liberals to reassess the lengths they are willing to go to ensure that democratic regimes will remain in power. 

Mayall’s example of Yugoslavia begs the question, “what does it mean to be liberal and/or democratic?”  Political distinctions are not ideological distinctions.  Yet, ideology constitutes the political lens through which we view and interpret the world of ideas and political practice.  In the early 1990s, Norberto Bobbio responded to the criticisms that ideological distinctions had become passé with the end of the Cold War by arguing that “equality” is the only stable concept throughout the spectrum between left and right.[6]  In particular, he argues that the Left seeks to reduce the amount of suffering in the world, that the Left tends towards egalitarian values and that the Right tends towards inegalitarian values.  Bobbio defines equality specifically in the following manner: “an egalitarian doctrine or movement which tends to reduce social inequality and make natural inequalities less painful is completely different from egalitarianism, understood as ‘equality for everyone in everything’.”[7]  Bobbio’s distinctions will provide this paper with a just measure for liberal democratic action and remove the fuzzy edges surrounding the terms “liberal,” “democracy,” “right,” and “left.”

Liberals and advocates of democracy have often argued that democratic states tend to cooperate best with other democracies.[8]  Thus the answer to the question of what lengths liberals ought to go to enforce democratic values[9] may in fact be best answered within the context of already established democratic states.  After all, if democracy cannot be enforced within democracies how can liberals expect to enforce it upon “undemocratic” regimes?  The recent rise of the Freiheitliche Partei (Freedom Party) in Austria offers an excellent test case for the theory that interactions between democratic regimes will necessarily be peaceful.  Austria’s Freedom Party and its telegenic leader Jörg Haider have increasingly been accused of advocating political methods that are “outside the pale” of democracy.  Yet, in February of 2000 the FPÖ formed a coalition government with the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), via a democratic election.  This move recalled to many Western observers’ minds the rise of Hitler in 1932 as well as the Austrian people’s complacency and outright support of Hitler for the incorporation of Austria under the German Reich in 1938.[10]   However, the issue is more complicated than the current media allows.  Prima facie, the issue reduces to numerous comments made by the party’s leader, Jörg Haider, that attempt to glorify National Socialist policies and language, xenophobic policies concerning guest workers, and the leader’s vision of a “third republic” and a “cultural revolution” for Austria.[11]  Much of the international news focused on these apparently gross disregards for the atrocities committed by Nazis during the Holocaust.  The international press focuses on the party’s policy proposals that would deny rights to all immigrants, increase the power of the president, and forgo all possibility of a vergangenheitsbewaeltigung in the German vein.[12]  However, little attention has been paid to the FPÖ except to demonize it; for example, few have given credence to the legitimate concerns that the machine style politics (know as proportz in Austria) has led to corruption in government or that Austria needs to redefine itself after the end of the Cold War.[13]  Instead, the mass media has cultivated an image of Austria in its entirety as a country that is slipping outside the pale of democracy by turning Haider into a Nazi.

The international community framed the debate so rigidly that little room for compromise exists—after all, no one wants to be seen compromising with evil.  Liberal politicians know what their actions should be if Haider looks like Hitler and so they dress him as such.  With this framework in mind, it is no wonder that the February 4, 2000 creation of an ÖVP-FPÖ coalition lead government has unleashed a flood of international outcry.  The EU has boycotted Austria, the United States is “watching closely,” Israel has recalled its foreign diplomats, and the World Jewish Congress has condemned Haider and the Freedom Party as anti-Semitic.  The narrative told by the international media makes it clear that this seemingly inegalitarian, anti-democratic, and xenophobic party threaten visions of an international society of peace and harmony.  Thus, the protection of democracy and liberal values demands that the international community take decisive steps to ensure the eminence of the so-called universal values of life, liberty, health, and property.  In its language, the international community has conflated “human rights” with the traditional theories of John Locke’s “life, liberty, health, and property.”  However, once the main actors reduce the narrative to its ideological components (human rights and democracy) the debate stops.  It is precisely at this juncture that the sender nations must ask themselves, what lengths ought we go to ensure democracy?

What is the role of the international community in addressing an apparently undemocratic party’s rise to power in Europe, especially a party that has distressing similarities with National Socialism?  This essay is deeply concerned with the underlying and troubling question: to what lengths ought liberal democrats go to ensure the supremacy of democracy around the world?   This paper argues one that the international community has a responsibility to act, based upon the rule of law, to prevent undemocratic governments from rising to power, even if they have arisen by democratic means.  And, two, that the problem of the FPÖ’s rise to power indicates the failure of the traditional power structures to respond to legitimate concerns of the Austrian people.   Ultimately, the international community would like to frame the debate over the Freedom Party’s inclusion into the ruling coalition as an example of the failure of democracy in Austria.  As such, the central problematic for Austria and for the international community is to find the best solution for revitalizing democracy in Austria.  A corollary problematic is to determine whether those means should be themselves democratic or undemocratic in nature.   Although the European Union nations et al are not bombing Austria into respect for human rights, the EU nations are employing means that are themselves “outside the pale” of democracy.  For, although sanctions carry a certain moral legitimacy over war the intentions are unmistakably the same: to bend one party to another party’s will.  However, many believe that we must pay this price in order to ensure the eminence of democracy.

Section One

National Socialist Roots and the Historikerstreit in Österreich.

 A missed opportunity

 From a statist or realist perspective there was much that the international community could have done to prevent Austria’s annexation by Germany.  In 1934 the Austrian Chancellor Dolfuss was assassinated by Austrian Nazis.  It was at this time that many began to doubt the longevity of the republic.  Yet, hope was not lost.  Dolfuss’ replacement was a staunch proponent of the republic even if he was autocratic.  No one will idealize the first republic for it was clearly not based upon liberal values or human rights.  However, it was not Nazi.  But this pre-war period was not cauterized by the Nazi flames the way the later world leaders would be.  Later, every evil would be measured against Hitler.  Thus, when Schuschnigg came to power he immediately began to lobby the international community to support an independent Austria.  By 1934 Germany had already assumed that the anschluss (annexation) was a foregone conclusion; that it was merely a matter of time before it would occur.  Schuschnigg disagreed and in 1935 went first to Britain, then to France, and to Italy.  In all cases Schuschnigg’s pleas were ignored or rejected.  In the British parliament, the idea of even expressing token support for an Austria free from foreign influence was shouted down.  France and Italy were both either unable or unwilling to help prevent an annexation by Germany.  It is in this light that Richard Bassett states that, “[i]solated abroad, undermined at home, Schuschnigg’s Austria now moved swiftly towards extinction.”[14]  Had England or France been able to make a clear stand in favor of an independent Austria it is likely that a German take-over of Austria would have had to be a military one.  Nevertheless, with the lack of outside support for an independent Austria, Schuschnigg abdicated to the Nazis.[15]

The Austrian Self Image: First Victim of the Nazis

There is little indication that the international community, with regards to Haider and the FPO, is trying to make up for its missed opportunities before 1938.  Regardless of the possible realist/state centered opportunities that were missed, the international community is now concerned with Austria’s history after the anschluss.   In fact, the international community’s response to the recent coalition government of the ÖVP and the FPÖ consists primarily of references to Austria’s Nazi past.  Thus, this section will discuss Austria’s “brown stains.”  The Austrian self-image is one based upon the October 1943 Moscow Conference joint four-nation declaration which states that Austria was “the first free country to fall a victim to Hitlerite aggression.”[16] The fact that each of the three main parties (SPÖ, ÖVP, and FPÖ) in Austria contain members as well as leaders who were Nazis is an indication that the perceived victim status has helped Austrians “forget” Austria’s role in the War.  However, the roots of National Socialism in Austria trace back to and beyond the Austrian people’s celebration in 1938 of the German anschluss.  National Socialism and racism were strong in Austria prior to its annexation by Germany.[17]

Heidemarie Uhl estimates that up to 8 % of the population were members of the NSDAP.  By 1942, if one includes families, “25 percent of the population can be said to have been sympathizers of the Nazi party.”[18]  Thus, few in the older generation can claim to be free from association or guilt.  In spite of Austria’s participation in the Third Reich, Austria claims victim status.  The popular image is as follows, “in March of 1938 Austria was occupied and annexed by Germany against its will; it was liberated in April/May 1945 by Austrian resistance fighters and the Allies.  The years between 1938 and 1945 were described as a period of foreign rule and, as far as Austria’s role and participation in the war was concerned, these were portrayed as a period of resistance and persecution, of the nation’s fight for its liberation.”[19]  Thus it is no wonder that while Germans were having open debates in the press over their history and their guilt, Austrians were teaching the younger generation that “the Second World War belongs to world history, but not to Austrian history.  It was not an Austrian war.  Austria did not participate in it.”[20] Simon Wiesenthal, the famous Nazi hunter, has noted that even though Austria made up only a small portion (8.5%) of the German Reich, “80% of Eichmann’s staff were Austrian, and three quarters of the commanders of the extermination camps were also Austrian.  Globotschnig, for example, was the chief of Jewish extermination in the General-Gouvernement (Poland), and with a staff of sixty-five people from Carinthia (the region in Southern Austria around Klagenfurt) they were responsible for over two million dead.[21]  They were Nazis from Austria.”[22] 

Thus it is empirically difficult to substantiate the claim that the time from 1938 to 1945 was a time of “foreign rule” unless you were a victim of the Nazis.  The rest of what was the Third Reich was forced to deal with its past.  Although denazification did not effectively root out all the major criminals in Germany, it was substantial enough that modern day German politicians can claim to be members of the group of Germans who state that it was better to lose the war than to win it under Hitler.[23]  This is not to say that Germany has truly come to grips with its past, but that some “airing out” has occurred.[24] Although the reality of Austria’s wartime involvement is much different from this self-image, the image is nonetheless attributable to the international community’s (in this case the Allies make up the international community) failure to fully address Austria’s willing participation in Hitler’s war aims.  Austria’s past is inextricably tied to the international community’s willingness to accept the 1943 Moscow declaration to be upheld in international law courts.[25]  Further, it served as an excuse to cloak Austria’s past from the Austrian population.  For, the declaration clearly states that  “Austria is reminded, however that she has a responsibility, which she cannot evade, for participation in the war at the side of Hitlerite Germany, and that in the final settlement account will inevitably be taken of her own contribution to her liberation.”[26]  Thus, it is no wonder that given the choice between being held responsible for its participation in the war at the side of Hitlerite Germany or promoting a self-image of resistance to Hitlerite aggression that Austrians prefer the later.

 Coming to grips with Austria’s past: Hitler’s welcome home party

 It should not be too surprising that Austria wishes to forget about the past.  Current historical interpretation and revelation of the events leading up to 1938 as well as the period between 1938 and 1945 indicate that there was strong Nazi sentiment within Austria.  There is much to be said about the notion that not all Austrians were Nazis, yet they were clearly ineffective at preventing the more active Nazi groups from stealing the show.  Evan Burr Bukey has recently described the Anschluss as a reflex action by Hitler as opposed to an organized seizure of power.  The overwhelming demonstrations of mass support for National Socialism so fully surprised Hitler that he had to call an emergency meeting with his advisors to determine the appropriate course of action.  The extent to which Hitler underestimated the support for the Nazi Party within Austria is summed up by noting that even Vienna, described as the “last bastion to fall,” witnessed “more than a quarter of a million people” demonstrating for the “prodigal son”[27] of Austria returned.  Further, the overwhelming impression of the demonstrations that raged throughout Austria was that it was the will of the people, not some kind of fringe element of the society.  Bukey notes that one British observer at the time said that “for once workers and bourgeois stood side by side with undivided enthusiasm”[28] for the new Nazi regime.  It is possible to conclude that this show of mass support was partly due to the fact that the Schussnig regime or the First Austrian Republic was not strongly supported, that many Austrians did not believe that Austria constituted a nation, and that in the end, Shussnig himself told those who supported the First Republic not to fight a fratricidal war.[29]

It would be false to say that all were happy about the take over or that all were enthusiastic Hitler supporters.  Some cried in their apartments[30], others later described the events as if the hordes of hell had been unleashed upon Austria[31], and still others were merely sick of the old regime.[32]  But, the prevailing anti-Jewish sentiment of Austria, the April 1938 plebiscite of which 99.93 percent[33] of the population voted in favor of the anschluss, and the general outpouring of nationalist sentiment indicates that it would be even more false to say that Austria was the victim of Nazi aggression.  As Bukey notes: “Although Hitler’s foreign policy goals remained open, scarcely anyone objected to his authoritarian system or to his intention of ridding Austria of undesirable minorities and social outcasts.”[34]  It is no wonder that Austria remained loyal to Hitler’s war aims to the end and that once defeated Austria’s leaders clearly understood that the only way to escape the Allies’ recriminations was to agree publicly that Austria was the first victim of Nazi aggression.[35]  The Moscow Declaration allowed Austrians to forget that they had held a welcome home party for their prodigal son, Adolf Hitler.

In fact it was not until the ex-Secretary General of the United Nations, Kurt Waldheim, ran for President of Austria that a real coming to grips with the past began to evolve in Austria.  With the publication of his autobiography, many people began to wonder about the lack of information on his wartime duties, reported to have been spent in the Balkans.  It was slowly revealed over the course of his presidential campaign that he was likely involved in the final solution as well as “Operation Black” “a huge German-Italian offensive in Montenegro against Yugslav partisans.”[36]  The revelations elicited a barrage of criticisms of Waldheim’s amnesia as convenient omissions or lapses of memory.  International responses from America, Israel and Germany were full of wrath and invective.  It seemed impossible for the various debaters to determine what was worse: Waldheim’s lies or his crimes.  Within Austria proper, the effects were increasingly divisive, to the point that people felt bitter.  Anti-Semitism actually rose and became almost justifiable in the minds of many Austrians. Jörg Haider would argue that the United States had been happy with Waldheim’s performance as Secretary General of the United Nations.[37]  The sudden change in opinion was a clear representation of the hypocrisy of the accusers not to mention another case of Austria’s victimization at the hands of international forces.  Nonetheless, the Waldheim affair served to draw attention to Austria’s past and to force open discussions of Austria’s brown stains.  Sadly, the immediate repercussions were increased hostility towards Jews, “guest workers,” and other perceived minorities.[38]  Although, at the very least, the Waldheim affair demonstrated that even though Austria had been hiding from its past, it was capable of producing an environment that created some scholars and citizens who wanted to learn more and to discuss the past.

 FPÖ as scapegoat for the ÖVP and SPÖ

 Many politicians of all parties have capitalized on Austria’s coming to grips with the past by labeling opponents as Nazi or authoritarian.  However, the FPÖ in particular has born the brunt of these criticisms.  Inside and outside of Austria the FPÖ and especially Jörg Haider have been repeatedly accused of legitimizing National Socialist policies, using rhetoric that is reminiscent of Nazism, and perpetuating the myth of Austrian innocence in the crimes of World War II.  Mellanie Sully, the British born Viennese resident and scholar who has detailed the FPÖ and Jörg Haider, argues that “throughout its history the FPÖ was haunted by the shadow of Nazism.”[39]  The roots of the Freedom Party can easily be traced to the NSDAP.  As the descendent of the VdU (Verband der Unabhängigen—Association of the Independent) the FPÖ also inherited a history of party programs of “integrating former Nazis as well as those more generally dissatisfied with the power holders.”[40]    Max Riedlsperger points out that, “virtually all of its members, who later emerged as the “neo-liberal” leaders of the FPÖ, came from families that at the very least were grossdeutsche if not outright ex-Nazi.”[41]  Practically speaking there is little doubt that the FPÖ has similarities with the xenophobic, nationalistic, and racist elements of Nazism.  I find it particularly troubling that the intense scrutiny of the FPÖ serves to bury the Nazi past of the other parties as well as their own xenophobic and racist policies.

Haider himself quickly points out that at the end of the war, and the banning of the nationalist parties, most ex-Nazis joined the Socialists or the People’s parties.  In an interview with Melanie Sully, Haider explains that, “[a]fter the war they  [Haider’s parents] were classified as small Nazis, whilst the really big ones sought their careers with the ÖVP and the SPÖ.  They became mayors and ministers and politicians for the province whilst the little people were penalized including my parents.”[42]  As sully notes in her book The Haider Phenomenon, “not all former Nazis had ended up with the Third Lager [political camp].  Some had even moved up the ranks of the SPÖ and became cabinet ministers in Kreisky’s first government.  During the Waldheim affair, members of the ÖVP were accused of appealing to anti-Semitic  prejudice.”[43]  Further, while the Nazi past is certainly a valid issue and criticism of the FPÖ and Haider, it is important to note that Haider himself was born in 1950.  Yes, he did have Nazi’s for parents and yes he was raised in a very anti-Semitic province but he was not himself a Nazi. 

I seek to problematize the FPÖ as scapegoat because it changes the real issue: that Haider is a threat to democracy not because of his tactics or his past but because of his ideas.  Following Norberto Bobbio’s distinction between left and right, I argue that Haider’s politics derive from politically right ideologies because he is not concerned with equality.[44]  Haider’s beliefs are exclusionary and inegalitarian and therefore place him and his party on the right.  The critics who attack Haider on the bases of his demagoguery, his style of rhetoric, and his desire to strengthen the role of the president fail to recognize that any party can be found guilty on most counts.  And, most damning of the other parties in relation to Haider is the fact that his ideas, which have been so hotly debated, have actually been dominating Austrian politics.  In fact, Haider has prided himself upon being able to set the tone of politics in Austria: “Haider always liked to think that his party set things in motion in Austria and that on many questions the other parties acted in response to and not in advance of the Freedom Party.”[45]  In particular, Haider’s party contested the seemingly large amounts of immigrants who entered Austria beginning with the fall of Communism in the East.  Sully further notes that, “the attempt to box the FPÖ into an extreme brown corner proved a failure. 

Another strategy tried by the socialists and the conservatives was to overtake Haider on the right; immigration, however, proved equally futile and served only to “prove” or legitimate Haider’s politics--as the elections of 1994 showed.  It was difficult to see where the two main parties really stood.  The ÖVP sporadically opted for the “politics of the Centre” while the SPÖ toyed with the idea of liberalism.”[46]  Further, Haider problematized the system of party privileges whereby party affiliation and rank might determine one’s ability to get a job or an apartment [the system known as proportz is similar to the US notion of “machine” politics].  Thus in many ways, Haider’s assertion that he and his party are really trying to strengthen democracy in Austria does have some truth in it.  However, a closer look at his politics may reveal the truth in the criticisms.

Section Two 

Jörg Haider and the FPÖ

 Party Structure


In order to understand many of the criticisms that have been leveled against Haider and the FPÖ this next section will discuss the Freedom Party’s structure in three parts: 1) The Leadership principle; 2) The Party platform; and, 3) The FPÖ and Haider.   Jörg Haider has been criticized for advocating the strengthening of the role of the President of Austria which although not just a figurehead position is considerably less powerful than the United State’s president.  Many fear that this is a representation of Haider’s desire to be the leader of Austria.  The leader principle is analogous with Hitler and the Führer.  The implication of the accusation is that Haider may appeal to the “authoritarian personality” within the Austrian people.  The notion of the authoritarian personality stems largely from the Frankfurt School’s attempts to understand why the Nazi’s were so successful; their research lead to the conclusion that the authoritarian personality is represented by a person who “seems to combine the ideas and skills which are typical of a highly industrialized society with irrational or antirational beliefs.  He is at the same time enlightened and superstitious, proud to be an individualist and in constant fear of not being like all the others, jealous of his independence and inclined to submit blindly to power and authority.”[47]  Many Europeans believe that the Germans and the Austrians have a more heightened authoritarian tendency than most and conclude that these countries should be paid closer attention to.  Haider’s desire for a strong president can in many ways be linked to his own style of leadership; thus it can be argued that he wanted to remodel the Austrian political system based upon his own political practice.  On the other hand it might be just as easy to argue that Haider was merely responding to the international uproar over the Waldheim affair, thus in keeping with his politics of opposition argued against the dominant order.  However, Austria favored the limited role of the president; as Melanie Sully explains: “in the 1990s, Austria needed no crisis manager or Führer figure.  It had come of age; the days of paternalism were over.”[48]  Whether Sully’s analysis is correct or not has yet to be seen.  The recent rise of the FPÖ may in fact be an indication that the desire for a strong leader has resurfaced in Austria.  Austria’s existence as a nation state has historically been called into question by its own citizens as well as by the rest of the world.  The eminence of the Freedom Party and Haider may just be an indication that Austria is looking for a sense of vision and national identity.[49]


Party platform

In spite of the party’s call for more power for the president, as well as more power for the provinces (read “state’s rights” in United States parlance), it has also called for more participation from the people in the political process.  To this end Haider has qualified his definition of the FPÖ as a movement instead of a party.[50]  Because of the FPO’s far-right platform, one is easily reminded of the Nazi party strategy—but it can also be compared to any “movement” such as the Green Party (for example Petra Kelly’s notion of “anti-politics”) or populism in the United States.  However, this is a clear example of why the party should not be criticized as much on tactics so much as on ideas.  In a democracy, increased participation in the political process should be encouraged, but inegalitarian values and principles should be criticized actively.[51]   One important question for the FPO and democracy in Austria is who according to Haider and the FPO will be treated equally?  An examination of the party’s racist platform will reveal the problematic issues that the international community has been responding so harshly to over the last few months.  It will also reveal areas that the international community ought to pay attention too.


Racist politics

In a recent World Policy Journal article, Jacob Heilbrunn has reviewed the situation in Austria from both an optimist’s and a pessimist’s perspective.  Heilbrunn rails against Haider’s xenophobia and his “disdain for the past” while admitting that Austria’s influx of over 400,000 immigrants since 1988 has not been dealt with adequately by the previous ruling coalition.  However, it is quite evident from Heilbrunn’s account that the distinction between the FPO as a political party and Jörg Haider as the party leader is sometimes indistinguishable; Heilbrunn’s article includes little mention of the Party, focusing solely on Haider.  Is the problem in Austria Haider, the FPO, the failure of the traditional power elite to satisfy the needs of the people, or the mass migration of Eastern European refugees?[52]  Heilbrunn’s own answer is clear, Austria is the problem.  It would be easy to dismiss Heilbrunn’s superficial denunciation of Austria as inherently right-wing due to his lack of evidence and argument by assertion and yet he carries with him the weight of the entire European Union and the international media.  Therefore, the burden of proof lies with Austria even though it ought to lie with the international community.

A slightly dated defense of Austria written by John Fitzmourice, and endorsed by Bruno Kreisky, indicates that for many years the Austrian way was the ideal way of balancing power within a nation, something other countries should look to for guidance.[53]  The Austrian way, based on consensual governance helped Austria deal with many international crisis throughout the Cold War years.  For example, Austria suffered very little during the energy crisis during the 1970s.  Further, it has a substantial welfare system that provides care for the majority of the population.  In spite of these advantages there are also problems.  The consensual politics model of Austria, which brings together political parties to divide the spoils evenly between the leading parties, tends to avoid conflict and therefore shelves issues that become intractable.  Issues that, in a “first past the post” or “winner take all” democracy, would become open for public debate and decided by majority rule, therefore, never see the light of day. 

It is precisely this model that Haider takes offense with.  He portrays the issues that are shelved as examples of the inefficiency of the government.  Because those issues are, by their very nature of being the issues that are shelved, the most divisive, he personally takes advantage of any political situation that arises and exploits it to his favor.  One may conclude that he is just acting the part of the opposition—he himself claims that his party is there to strengthen democracy and not to weaken it.[54] 

However, the issue is not really one of opposition politics.  There is little doubt that opposition parties will, by the very nature, find the flaws in the status quo and bring them to the light.  The heart of the issue is the distinction between left and right.  What Haider chooses to do with those flaws, the answers that he provides, and the fears that he manipulates and feeds is the most frightening aspect of his politics.  Therefore, when the immigration from the ex-Soviet republics into Austria began to increase, Haider’s honed tactics of opposition were employed for right-wing ends when he argued for political solutions that discriminated against the new arrivals.  For example, it is difficult to accept that his politics is merely a politics of opposition when he makes comments that unashamedly equate foreigners with crime.[55]  Instead of pursuing a course of inclusion, Haider and the FPO have been fanatical about excluding those who have migrated to Austria.  Haider has fostered a sense that Austria’s problems are caused by outside forces.  One merely has to note the Waldheim affair, argues Haider, to see that outsiders have abused Austria.  If Austria can be an Austria for the Austrians, then life will be better.  He continues by noting that the ruling parties have not been able to deal with the situation and as a result Austrian children attend schools where eighty percent of the students cannot even speak German.  Because of this logic, many Austrian workers and students support the Freedom Party and especially Haider.  He claims that he says the things that most people want to say but are afraid to because of the ideological strangle hold that the liberals have on society.  The result of this political climate has been more restrictive immigration measures as well as attempts to get immigrants to leave via difficult application processes and even revoking residency permits from foreigners who reside in living spaces of less than ten square meters.[56]  It should also be noted that Haider’s definition of “foreigner” has a tendency to mean more than just those people who have recently migrated.  Austria still retains the racial/blood requirement for citizenship (which is ironic considering that most Austrians can trace their roots back to Slavic or Jewish ancestors.  Kurt Waldheim’s parents changed their last name to Waldheim from the Czech, Waclavek in the hopes of becoming more accepted during the monarchical period[57]).  Nevertheless, Haider’s policies have the potential to affect all those who do not fit into the accepted conception of what it means to be “Austrian.” 

The international community blames Haider for these measures because he helped create the political climate suitable for the passage of such laws.  However, the ruling coalitions at the time were responsible for passing the bills.  The interaction between Haider’s party and the ruling coalition is one of action and reaction: Haider acts and the SPO-OVP leaders react.  The strategy employed by the opponents of Haider has been to ignore him, hoping that he would just go away if he did not get attention.  In the mean time Haider’s party continued to gain votes (the FPO has consistently increased its electorate since Haiders ascendancy to party leader in 1986).  The Socialists and Conservatives, in response to Haider’s increasingly popular (not to mention populist) politics, passed legislation that was in line with Haider’s.  One can only deduce from this that the socialists and conservatives thought it better to remain in power even at the price of their political and ethical values.[58]  However, in this scenario, Haider and the FPO can only win because the OVP and the SPO are both shown to be hypocritical on the one hand and power hungry on the other (not to mention that racist and xenophobic legislation becomes law).  Observers of the Austrian situation must ask themselves whether the greater evil is the party that espouses xenophobia but has no power to legislate those values or the party that espouses freedom and liberal values but legislates xenophobic policy?  Again, it is important to reflect upon the distinction between left and right.  The FPO advocated, propagandized, and wrote legislation that excluded “foreigners.”  Yet, it was the parties in power who signed it all into law.  Are the socialists on the left or on the right if they enact right-wing policy?  Are actions less important than words?

If one is tempted to think that the problem is just Haider, that without him the party itself would be “defanged” so to speak, then a close examination of the actual Declaration of the Freedom Party will put this suspicion to rest.  Although there are many examples of racism and xenophobia mixed into the FPÖ’s official party platform it is important to note that “fundamentalist Islam” (what ever that is…) is seen to be more of a threat than Judaism (which is admitted in the party platform as at least influencing Western values of democracy and human rights)—in spite of the fact that Israel and the World Jewish congress have dubbed Haider and the FPÖ anti-Semitic.[59]  In chapter V, article 2 of the FPÖ’s party platform, radical Islam is singled out as a threat to Western values: “But these foundations [Western and/or Christian values of democracy and human rights] are endangered by different streams of thought. The increasing fundamentalism of radical Islam which is penetrating Europe, as well as hedonistic consumption, aggressive capitalism, increasing occultism, pseudo-religious sects and an omnipresent nihilism threaten the consensus of values which is in danger of getting lost.”[60]  This passage is rich for interpretation.  For example, what does “consensus of values” mean?  Certainly Haider does not want a consensus that is dominated by the socialists?  He wants a consensus that will allow the FPO to gain power and that would place him in the Chancellery.  Consider for example a statement from the FPO’s 20 Points for the “Contract with Austria:” point four: “We promise to safeguard freedom of opinion….The state opinion monopoly which violates human rights should be abolished.”[61]  Now, compare the above declared position of the FPO with the situation in Austria after the FPO’s entry into government, “Journalists on the public service television channel ORF have been threatened with dismissal for being too critical of the government and some coalition politicians have called for weekly demonstrations in the centre of Vienna to be banned.”[62]  One must also wonder what he means by “aggressive capitalism.”  Is this a bone to old socialist voters?  How does anti-capitalism fit into Haider’s reported desire to turn his home state into the “Silicon Alps?”[63]  Silicon Valley, after all, represents extensive ethnic diversity rather than anti-capitalist forces. 

Most interesting for our discussion of the enforcement of democratic values via undemocratic means is the FPÖ’s own position on this topic: “The preservation of the intellectual foundations of the West necessitates a Christianity that defends its values.”[64]  The Freedom Party’s platform reads very similar to John Locke’s classical liberal treatise where he states that, “every man…has a power to kill a murderer…and also to secure men from the attempts of a criminal, who having renounced reason, hath…declared war against all mankind, and therefore may be destroyed as a lion or a tyger, one of those wild savage beasts, with whom men can have no society nor security.”[65]  Thus in classical liberal terms, the party clearly makes a distinction between rational forces (read democratic states and Christian nations[66]) which will act peacefully with other rational forces, and irrational forces (read non democratic states and non-Christian nations) which have necessarily put themselves at war with the liberal forces of reason.[67]  Both passages indicate that the use of coercive means to universalize and defend its values is both permissible and even necessary.  Both Christianity and liberalism go together with missionary work and the crusades.  Thus the problem of sanctions against Austria for the sake of an ideal, even when those sanctions seem to go against the ideal itself are both justified from the perspective of classical liberalism as well as from the perspective of the Freedom Party.


Jörg Haider


It may be, however, that the Leader of the FPÖ is the real issue. 
The international community has largely responded to Haider as opposed to the FPÖ.  In 1991 Haider was criticized and punished for his comments made while governor of
Corinthia when he argued that,  “an orderly employment policy was carried out in the Third Reich, which the government in Vienna cannot manage.”[68]  This comment gave his opponents enough ammunition to have him removed from the Governor’s seat.  In 1990 he argued that Austria needs to find “a final solution to the farm question.”  And, in 1995 after not attending the ceremonies for the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Mauthausen death camp, Haider referred to it as a “punishment camp.”  All of these altered uses of Nazi terms and slogans do more to signal the extreme right and racist elements of Austria that Haider is their man than they do to justify the atrocities of the Holocaust. The famous Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, has argued that in spite of Haider’s rhetoric, “he is not a neo-Nazi; he’s a radical—he could be a radical left or radical right.” However he also points out that he is politically astute as well as eager to gain political power.[69]  Considering Austria’s past, it is understandable that the international community has narrowed in on these particular comments, as well as his party’s platform.

It is interesting to note that some view Haider’s rhetoric of opposition politics, wherein he consistently attacks the government, the majority politicians, and every other flaw in the system that crops up along the way, as the cause of the problems in Austria.  A 1998 study of public opinion of politicians in Austria concluded that “Perhaps our most interesting finding is that the one party whose supporters are the most scathing in their view of politicians—FPO supporters—is also the party that the public and politicians blame for the negative image of politicians.”[70]  Haider’s tactics do seem to have contradictory results.  On the one hand his opposition politics has fostered a lack of trust in government while simultaneously garnering an increasing share of the electorate.  In a country that commands a near total eligible voter turnout for elections, Haider’s party won an astonishing 27 percent of the total vote—the same as the OVP.[71]  Thus, I find it difficult to understand the claim that Haider undermines democracy. 

 Section Three 

International Society Response to the February 4th Coalition

 The European Union Response

This paper has been leading up to a discussion of the international community’s response to te February 4 coalition via a history of Austria and a description of the FPÖ and Haider because it is impossible to understand the intense responses to the FPÖ shared government without understanding the historical forces at play.  Nor is it possible to understand the response without an understanding of Jörg Haider and the FPÖ.  Further, this paper is premised on the interpretation of the international community’s latent fear of the rise of a Germanic far right party because of the lingering shadow of Nazism.  Although the criticisms of the possibility of a far right party coalition government have been raging for quite some time, the fears did not materialize into reality until February 4, 2000.[72]  The responses from the international community were immediate.  Portugal’s Prime Minister, Antonio Guterres, stated that the new government was a threat to liberal values: "A whole range of values that underpin our civilization are at stake."[73] Belgian foreign minister, Louis Michel, stated that “Europe can very well do without Austria. We don't need it.”[74]  The European Parliament fears that the inclusion of the far-right party into the Austrian government will legitimize right extremism throughout Europe.[75]  As the London Times overseas correspondent Martin Fletcher notes, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Portugal are the strongest supporters of sanctions.  According to the Financial Times, “A resolution condemning ‘all the insulting, xenophobic and racist statements’ issued by Mr Haider in recent years was approved by 405 to 53 votes with 60 abstentions.”[76]  The parallel between the Freedom party’s notion of a Christianity that must defend itself, the Portuguese Prime Minister’s statement of values, and the classical liberal notion that the forces of reason must root out the forces of irrationality that have placed themselves at war with reason should not be missed.    These repercussions are an alternative to outright banishment of Austria from the European Union and are the result of many debates among parliamentarians. 

The European parliamentary debates consist largely of issues of democratic theory: what is the role of democratic nations in enforcing democracy, even in democratically elected governments?  It is a positive sign that political leaders of Europe validate the underlying question of this paper because it indicates that beyond the headlines their lies a seriously critical and conscious European leadership.  The London Times summed up the problem immediately following the swearing in ceremony of the new government: “To abhor Herr Haider's xenophobia, and to deplore the outcome of Austria's parliamentary election last October in which the FPO won 52 of the 183 seats and became the second largest party, is one thing. Effectively to deny the legitimacy of the Austrian ballot is quite another.”[77]  The leaders of Europe unequivocally support the criticism of Haider’s politics but worry that to further isolate Austria may in fact strengthen his voter base.  However, there are also a number of central European leaders who are questioning the role of sanctions not on liberal principles but on traditional realist notions of national sovereignty based upon the Westphalian system: “Vaclav Klaus, the head of the Czech senior opposition Civic Democrats (ODS), expressed solidarity with the OeVP's decision to form a coalition with Haider's party. He wrote in the letter that the reaction from the EU amounted to ‘an unseen attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of a sovereign democratic country’.”[78] Vaclav Klaus’ criticism indicates an interesting realist defense of liberal views.  Democracy should be protected not because of its modern connection with liberalism but rather based upon a state-centered notion of sovereignty.  As of this writing, the European Union is still maintaining bilateral sanctions against Austria in spite of Austrian leaders’ continued protests and threats to veto EU decisions as well as to hold an Austrian referendum to condemn the sanctions.[79]  Further, Denmark has issued statements of protest against the sanctions because its electorate sees the EU response to Austria as an example of the Goliath of the EU trampling the rights of the smaller nations.[80]

As indicated by the comments made by the foreign ministers of France and Belgium, the responses have been scathing if superficial.  Many Europeans believe that the reason for a boycott of Austria is a “no brainer.” Many still remember World War II, Hitler, and the devastation which in many places is still visible.  A telling example of the ideological stance of many Europeans who oppose the rise of the Freedom party to government level is a comment made by a French woman about the larger, moral position of Europe to prevent the rise of the extreme right.  She states forcefully that, “Austria is le ventre de la bete," literally, the womb of the beast.”[81]  This comment resonates well with the notion that before 1938 Europe missed an opportunity to prevent the rise of Hitler due to the great powers’ policy of appeasement.  The European foreign ministers and many European voters have made the same conclusion that Jacob Heilbrunn made when he said recently that, “[t]he fundamental problem isn’t Haider.  It’s Austria.”[82]  The argument is that because Austria is the birth place of Hitler, because Austrians represented an overwhelming percentage of high ranking Nazis during the anschluss and before (when comparing the size of Austria to that of Germany), and, although more implicitly than explicitly, because Austrians have never owned up to their guilt Austria should be boycotted as long as there is a far right party in power.  Even if this logic lacks a certain theoretical cogency, it should be convincing enough to resonate with Europeans on an emotive level if not on a purely rational level.  Further, those who experienced Nazi terror as victims will have an understandable gut level reaction to the rise of a party that refuses to apologize or recognize the horrors of the past.  However, one must wonder about the reasons for the international outcry beyond the European context.

If the gut level reactions to the new government in Austria do not completely justify sanctions, then maybe a discussion of the legal framework within which the EU supposedly works.  Until now, this essay has not discussed the foundations of European Union.  In order to determine the legality of the sanctions, this paper now turns towards a discussion of the founding documents of the European Union.  In principle, the framers of the union premised their work on several essential concepts.  The principle document of the European Union, the Maastricht Treaty, stands or falls on the principle of democracy.  The following passage is of particular relevance:



1. The Union shall respect the national identities of its Member States, whose systems of government are founded on the principles of democracy.

2. The Union shall respect fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed in Rome on 4 November 1950 and as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, as general principles of Community law.

3. The Union shall provide itself with the means necessary to attain its objectives and carry through its policies. [83]


It is possible to interpret this passage in many ways.  It appears that the EU has interpreted Article F with regards the Austrian case in the following manner.  The EU does not need to respect Austria’s national identity (i.g. which is now determined by the February 4 government) because the new government is completely divorced from the founding principles of Austria (which were decreed by the occupying powers after 1945).  By including the FPO, Austria necessarily put itself at “war” with the rest of the community.  Although the EU has chosen not to actually go to war with Austria militarily, it has gone to war economically.  This is perfectly consistent with Article F item number three which all but states that the EU may use any means necessary to maintain community law.  By definition, community law is subject to change based upon majority rule in spite of the fact that decrees from the EU must be made on a consensual basis.  In the case of Austria the vote was 14-1 and Austria lost.[84]

The Maastricht Treaty may provide the theoretical and legal framework to justify sanctions against Austria, but it does not demonstrate that the EU’s actions are just.  In fact it can be reduced to the adage, “united we stand, divided we fall.”  The commitment to solidarity among member states is dependent upon the somewhat arbitrary application of community law.  In this case, community law decrees that Haider and his party not enter government in Europe.  A more enlightened approach would be to provide incentives for action consistent with the values of human rights instead of isolation and condemnation.  After all, a little over a decade ago the EU, the United States, and Israel played a similar game with Austria during the Waldheim Affair.  As Gordon Brook-Shepherd indicates, Austria became more anti-Semitic and more enclosed.[85]  It is a common truism that isolation causes a “bunker” or “rally ‘round the flag” mentality within the minds of those who are isolated.  It also does little to promote enlightened, least of all liberal, thought.  Perhaps Europeans are too close to the problem though.  Maybe the responses outside of the EU will prove to be more reasonable.


Responses to Austria outside of the EU


The EU is not alone in its condemnation of the government in Austria.  Other nations’ responses have been equally serious.  Then United States’ President Bill Clinton, in a February 14 interview with CNN.com, voiced similar concerns as the EU: “I think we've made it quite clear that we do not support any expression of either sympathy with the Nazis in the past or ultra-nationalist race-based politics, anti-immigrant politics in the future.”[86]  The implication in Clinton’s comment is clear: Nazism is synonymous with anti-immigrant and race-based politics.  This reduction or conflation of Nazism with racism while certainly based in reality serves to deflect discussion of the underlying tensions in Austrian society.  Thus, problematically, such condemnatory rhetoric from Clinton and others, serves to silence some of the voices opposed to the right-wing party.  Further, it does little or nothing to actually check human rights violations.  To wit: Clinton’s statement about not supporting or condoning anti-immigrant or race based politics flies in the face of the US’s own stance on immigration, especially against immigrants who are not white.

Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright has also made it clear that the U.S. response is more of a right to react than it is a reasoned response based upon effective use of power.  Although her statements are couched in a moral language in kind with the president’s, there is little indication that she believes that the international response is going to help reduce the potential human rights problems that might occur in Austria due to the new government.  In response to a Senate panel question that asked whether or not sanctions would merely strengthen the extremists power base in Austria Albright replied that, “There are those who say that that is possible. But I think that Americans who believe that making statements about Hitler's employment policies and immigration policies that don't welcome anybody or treating your minorities as if they don't count, Americans have a right to react to that. The Europeans did also. I think we just need to watch this on a day-to-day basis.”[87]  Albright’s response is in most regards a regurgitation of the platitudes issued by the European leaders.  Her statement indicates that the US stance may in fact be based solely upon European political opinion.  However, the US has never supported Austria’s consistent pro-Arab stance and therefore may support sanctions based upon this political interest.  Of course, from a human rights perspective, the international community should not wait around for the Austrian government to violate Human Rights.  Therefore, it is important that the international community acts.  Admittedly both President Clinton and Secretary Albright’s comments are positive steps, ones that Americans ought to be proud of, it does seem however, to be merely rhetorical at best and reactionary at worst.  The United States is the last country to claim to have eliminated racism and any observant Austrian will easily point this out.  Ex-Governor of California Pete Wilson is but one example of US xenophobia and hate that far outstrips Haider.[88]  If the US response seems problematic, then let us turn to the Israeli one.

In addition to the US response, Israeli foreign officials announced that Haider would not be allowed to enter Israel.[89]  The Israeli sentiment is another example of the international community’s comparison of Haider with Hitler and the Nazi era: “‘Israel cannot remain silent in the face of the rise of extremist right- wing parties, in particular in those countries which played a role in the events which brought about the eradication of a third of the Jewish people in the Holocaust,’ it said. ‘This is especially true when parties such as the one led by Jorg Haider become partners in government.’”[90]  The Israeli sentiment is comprehensible only if one forgets that the Israeli government is currently acting as an authoritarian dictatorship over Palestinians who refuse to forget that they were forcibly removed from their own land following the creation of an Israeli state after the Second World War.[91]  Jörg Haider’s Freedom Party’s desire to reduce immigration from the ex-Soviet republics into Austria compared to Israeli treatment of Palestinians would seem to de-legitimate any Israeli claim to human rights. 

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) has been up in arms about the Freedom Party’s inclusion into government.  The international community has couched its outrage in moralistic language but do not assume that there are not political benefits in mind.  In May the WJC delayed sanctions against Austria because government officials agreed to negotiate Holocaust property demands.[92]  Reparations have been long on the negotiating table and yet it is ironic that it might occur during a time when the conservatives and extremists hold power.  One is forced to recall that Richard Nixon, himself a rabid anti-communist, was largely responsible for initiating détente and beginning the process of opening up relations with China and the USSR.  The example of the WJC’s willingness to forego sanctions (supposedly based upon a moral repugnance with the FPO) in order to negotiate reparations is a sign that some of the international forces at play are willing to compromise.

Looking at the total “international” outcry, it is interesting to note that the outrage over Haider’s party is limited primarily to Europe, North America, and Israel.  According to most academics the term “Semite” actually refers to all peoples of the Middle East—in other words, Israelis are just a portion of a greater body of Semites.  However, the Israeli spokespeople have effectively conflated anti-Semite with anti-Jew.  This is most problematic in light of the FPÖ party platform’s discussion of “radical Islam” as a threat to Western values and Christian society.  In spite of this more overarching “anti-Semitism” as portrayed in the party platform, no one has really criticized the FPÖ for its anti-Islamic stance.  This may be an indication of the greater Western perception of Islam as a force of disintegration and particularism whilst the West portrays itself as a force of universalism.  Unfortunately, this topic has been ignored.[93]


United Nation’s Response to Austria’s New Government


International society theorists and advocates of a world government might take heart from the reaction by the United Nations officials who are most concerned about world governance and peace.  In reference to a list of cases of human rights violations, racism, and xenophobia which included mention of Haider and Austria, Mary Robinson, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, argued that “[t]his incomplete list of sad and horrible incidents is a clear warning that fanaticism and prejudice are alive and well.”[94]  Even more courageous, while acting against UN charter guidelines, Secretary General Kofi Annan stated that, “anyone with a sense of history would be concerned about recent political developments in Austria."[95]  The secretary general and the High Commissioner for Human Rights both indicate a strong connection between right-extremism with fascism.  However, few politicians and academics have voiced the implicit concern that the rise of the Freedom Party may cause the rise of right extremism throughout the rest of Europe.  Although the liberals remain in power in most western nations, there is no guarantee that this will always be the case.  Mary Robinson astutely makes the connection and yet it is highly problematic that she compares Haider with fascistic elements in Africa instead of throughout Europe or the United States.  This may be due to fear of repercussions from member nations.  As noted, Annan’s comments are highly uncharacteristic for a UN secretary general.  He may already be overstepping his bounds.  His recent comments concerning the unfairness of Globalization indicate that the United States did not pick a Secretary General who is overwhelmingly enthusiastic about kowtowing to the United States.  What ever the case may be, the United Nations, embodied in the Secretary-General, has clearly announced its position in favor of human rights and opposed to racism and xenophobia with regards to Austria.


This paper has provided a critical description of Austria and the current response to its new government.  The implication of the international condemnation of, and the sanctions against, the FPÖ and of Jörg Haider as laid out in the forgoing discussion is two-fold.  First, the liberal based international community is theoretically consistent with classical liberal values when it applies coercive means to ensure the primacy of democracy, so long as those coercive means are applied against non-democratic regimes or ones that are not consolidated. Second, the Austrian case is not really what the international press is making it out to be.  The European Union is certainly framing it as a failure of democracy.  However, if it is an internal political power play by the ruling parties then it is not a failure of democracy so much as it is a failure of the ruling elite and the electorate.  Democracy is by no means a perfect form of government since it is dependent upon faithful implementation by human beings.  Most of the literature on sanctions states unequivocally that sanctions do not work unless there are groups within the target country who support the sanctions.  For example, David Cortright and George Lopez et al argue that “When credible civil society groups and human rights organizations in the targeted country support international sanctions, the moral legitimacy and likely political effectiveness of those measures are enhanced.”[96] Further, uncompromising sanctions generally fail.[97]  Finally, rhetoric aside, there is little indication that the EU goal of getting the FPO out of government is a moral one based upon the preservation of democracy as opposed to merely a political goal.  As Joshua Leinsdorf of the Institute for Election Analysis avers, “[t]he sanctions against Austria are illegal. Austria was never given a chance to respond to the charges before the sanctions were imposed. So, the explanation that Austria is in danger of violating democratic principles is all the more hypocritical.”[98]  The purpose of any sanctions ought to be positive not retributive.  However, as Joshua Leinsdorf implies, the hypocrisy lies in the fact that the EU is talking the talk while failing to walk the walk: sanctions are illegal so long as Austria has not broken the law. 

The level of analysis of the EU remains on the level of the state and therefore does nothing for those who may suffer from human rights violations.  The majority of the research within this study shows that there is little actual public support of sanctions and that the debate is centered on who is in power with a hearty bantering of democratic values.  The goal ought be to ensure that minority rights, human rights, and equality are ensured in spite of who is in power.  If Austria has not broken the law, then the only group guilty of breaking the Rule of law is the sender states organizing sanctions against Austria.  This paper should instill a sense of doubt about the particular manner in which sanctions are being employed against Austria.  The target should be human rights not the usual business of maintaining the status quo.  After all, if the FPO is in power then it is subject to the same criticism that it has leveled against the other parties for the past 14 years since Haider took over the leadership.

The contradiction between the EU’s sanction against Austria for racist politics while itself maintaining xenophobic policies is also important.  This does not mean that Europeans cannot and should not protest and criticize.  It in fact sets an international precedent to oppose anti-liberal tendencies in Western countries.  Due to this paper’s interpretation of the FPÖ’s own party platform, the international response is not only consistent with liberalism but it is also consistent with the FPÖ itself.  As noted above, the FPÖ believes that “The preservation of the intellectual foundations of the West necessitates a Christianity that defends its values.”[99]  In the same light, liberal democracy necessitates an international society that enforces liberal and democratic values.  Of course, international society must transcend national boundaries and notions of state sovereignty in order to actualize the universal ideal of equality.  As Andrew Linklater notes, “Justice requires efforts to project democratic commitments beyond national frontiers so that those who have been incorporated within global social and economic relations have increased possibilities of representation and voice.”[100]  The FPÖ’s insistence upon the enforcement of Christian values is little different than Linklater’s claim that justice must be enforced beyond borders, with one difference. 

The difference relates to this paper’s earlier focus upon the distinction between “left” and “right” political thought: left tends to be egalitarian and right tends to be inegalitarian.  On the topic of left and right applied to immigration, Bobbio argues that “in period of increased migration between rich and poor countries, and therefore of meetings and clashes between peoples of different customs, languages, religions and cultures, the difference between egalitarians and inegalitarians is manifested in the degree of importance assigned to these differences in the recognition of certain fundamental human rights.”[101] Thus, while the FPÖ wishes to enforce Christian values based upon a particular group’s right to self-determination within national boundaries, Linklater wishes to enforce justice based upon a notion of equality that transcends national borders.  Therefore, the first implication for the international response to the rise of the FPÖ is that it indicates that there is a willingness on the part of the “squishy” liberals to act to create a better world.  On the other hand, it also indicates that there is some similarity between the FPÖ platform and international society values.  Although the distinction between them may be small, it makes a world of difference.

That the international community has responded so strongly is also an indication that there is a potential shift in Richard Falk’s notion of a “global apartheid.”[102] Austria, a nation in the Global North, is being economically and socially shunned for its government’s racist party platform.  Further, that the UN has publicly condemned the xenophobic and anti-immigrant tendencies indicates that the Global South may actually have an effective voice in the UN.  This is by no means an indication that international society has won out over state centered international relations, merely that there is an indication that there is a real change in politics.  Just as the genocidal past of Austria needs airing out, so to should the genocidal past of the North be brought to the light. 

Liberal international relations theorists may be frustrated by the situation in Austria.  James Mayall notes that, “sanctions might be expected to work best against democratic wrongdoers, since in this case it would be reasonable to assume a link between the electorate and its representatives.”[103]  Mayall’s assumption flies in the face of Austria where sanctions are working to galvanize the electorate more than to force them into changing their government.[104]  The fundamental flaw in the logic of sanctions is that it is coercive in nature and does little to appeal to the conscience or to the reasonable side of human nature.  It assumes that humans will react in a manner that is in line with the goals of international society even while it assumes that humans are self-interested.  It must be understood that sanctions are much preferable than bombing as a method of solving problems.  However, sanctions are an appropriate first step but they fall short if used as a purely instrumental response because they serve to exclude instead of engage the opponent. 

The rise of Jörg Haider and the FPÖ should be taken as a sign that he has addressed real concerns of the Austrian people.  The degree to which he has manipulated those fears in order to create political capital must be the focus of political responses to Haider and his party; that he wishes to take real fears and latent frustrations and inflate them to such an extent that they result in a desire for further inequality (as is the case with his immigration policy) is the real issue.  The politics of exclusion practiced by the dominant parties in Austria is little different than the international community’s politics of isolation.  They both fail to engage the real issues; perhaps because the real issues (racism, xenophobia, and hate) are themselves universal and the confrontation of them would open too many closets full of skeletons?  The New Republic ran an article in February 2000 that questioned, among other things, why the EU did not enact sanctions when Kurt Waldheim was president, himself an actual Nazi.[105]  In defense of the EU, it is important to note that the Waldheim affair did produce a severe response from the international community and led to the political isolation of Austria.  It is likely that the EU leaders learned that the merely symbolic action taken against Austria during the Waldheim Affair were not enough and therefore felt that this time Austria had gone too far.  Further, in response to The New Republic, past inaction does not justify future inaction; precedent should not be an excuse for political leaders to continually “wink” in the face of injustice merely because they are unwilling to make hard decisions. 

Finally, classical political theory has shown that politics is not about good answers but about good questions.  Because even the best theories are flawed, it is the responsibility of the social and political critic to continue to refine the process through which ideas are formulated.  Those who study politics because they want answers are bound to be frustrated and unfulfilled in their endeavors.  However, hope lies not in the possibility of finding the one perfect answer to the problem of human suffering but rather in the possibility to reduce the amount of human suffering in the world.  This of course brings the liberal dangerously close to an analysis that reduces suffering to a quantitative level.  To say that the United States and Israel have caused more or less suffering than Austria in recent history ought not determine their right to criticize.  The danger lies not so much in the abuse that Austria faces at the hands of the EU but that by the constant attention paid to Austria’s past crimes, the accusing nations are able to close their eyes to the crimes they are committing at the present moment.[106]

The implications for democracy are severe.  Democracy is prima facie a form of government wherein the people elect officials on a regular basis via free elections.  In modern times, democracy has become associated with liberal values, specifically a notion of rights that are inherent regardless of birth, gender, race, or religion.  However, on a far deeper level, democracy is the way a society conducts itself.  For example, many people around the world consider the United States a democracy.  It is the symbol of freedom and opportunity for many poor people.  A better test of democracy is to evaluate the lives of those who are at the bottom of the social hierarchy.  If democratic regimes enforce democratic values on other nations, it behooves them to enforce them on themselves as well.  Austrians are justified in crying foul when told to follow principles that no other nation on the planet follows.


On February 4, 2000 the ÖVP and the FPÖ formed a coalition government.  The Freedom party, although acquiring parity in votes with the People’s Party, agreed to be junior partner and ceded the position of chancellor to the conservatives.  Citing mainly the FPÖ party’s leader, Haider, the international community interpreted this regime change as a failure of democracy.  Because the response to the new government happened before it could do anything, the international community acted based upon the assumption that an FPÖ-ÖVP government would necessarily lead to an authoritarian regime.  The implicit assumption was that if this occurred, Austria would be in direct violation of the Maastricht Treaty and the Amsterdam Treaty.  Whereas the EU acted illegally according to its own precepts and the rule of law, it did so for two reasons: first, Hitler was born in Austria.  As noted, Austria never fully owned up to its past.  Second, I believe that Thomas Klestil and other socialists (ÖVP) harangued their colleagues in the EU to put up an outcry in the hopes of forcing the ÖVP into a “Grand Coalition” with the SPÖ.   Regardless of whether the reasons for the EU sanctions against Austria are ideologically based or politically motivated, the smaller European nations, especially Denmark, and some eastern and middle European nations interpret the recent events as an abuse of power by the EU.

On a deeper level, I conclude by answering the title question of this essay.  In light of the evidence provided herein, Jörg Haider and/or the Freedom Party do not represent a threat to international security.  The case of Austria represents an issue of saving face.  Many Austrians feel that they have been wronged by the EU and by the United States.  The international community is pointing the finger at Austria, telling Austrians that they are wrong for voting for a right-wing party (remember though that it was only 27 percent who voted for the FPÖ).  The international community did not provide Austria with incentives to comply nor did they give a coherent rational for sanctions.  The major threat to international security will come from the mismanagement of this situation.  If Denmark, other small nations, middle-European, and eastern European nations decided that the European Union is unjust in its use of power, then the once seemingly smooth path to full European union may be irrevocably derailed.  This would truly be a missed opportunity for the consolidation of democracy and would certainly make short shrift of the lauded “end of history” in the Western sense.  Of course there is always a positive spin.  After all, even the Cold War had the benefit of giving voice to the unemployed and workers and seemed to guarantee the success of the Keynesian welfare state.  If the UE is derailed because of this latest fiasco in European politics, based upon a sense of a lack of justice employed by the leaders of Europe, then it might be possible for another group of nations to organize based upon a more just interpretation of democracy.  Another common truism of sanctions scholarship is that intervention always has unintended consequences.  Negative consequences are not the only possible outcomes.

Unfocused, unsupported within the country, and inspired more by a desire to keep the socialists in power than by a desire to ensure human rights for minorities, the international community should have enacted means more consistent with their professed democratic ends.  As a world community we must imagine and implement positive sanctions motivated by the desire to increase democracy and protect human rights.  Western society, with the creation of the judge and jury system of justice, decries retributive justice.  Thus, we must vigilantly monitor our actions through reflection and critique.  As the Waldheim affair clearly demonstrated, retributive forms of justice only serve to intensify a group’s xenophobic and nationalistic tendencies.  In the language of the sanctions literature, “sticks” appear as quick solutions but rarely repair deep cracks in the democratic edifice.  We must, therefore, strive to create “carrots” that encourage democratic values.



[1] Patrick Neal, Liberalism and its discontents (New York: New York University Press, 1997), 12.

[2] Robert Jackson,  “The Political theory of International Society,” in International Relations Theory Today, eds. Ken Booth and Steve Smith (Oxford: Polity Press, 1995), 110-128.

[3] Betty A. Reardon, Women and Peace: Feminists Visions of Global Security (New York: State University of New York Press, 1993), 4-5.

[4] Andrew Linklater, “The evolving spheres of international justice,” International Affairs 75, no. 3 (1999): 477, argues that, “there is a global democratic deficit that must be reduced if world wide arrangements are to be legitimate.”  My conflation of the term “leftist” with “egalitarian” stems from Norberto Bobbio, Left & Right: The significance of a political distinction (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1996).  His criteria for left is egalitarian versus inegalitarian.

[5] James Mayall, “Democracy and international society,” International Affairs 76, no. 1 (2000): 75.

[6] Bobbio, Left & Right, 59-60.

[7] Bobbio, Left & Right, 63.

[8] Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace and Other Essays, trans. Ted Humphrey (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, [1785] 1983), 107-43.

[9] Here I am using Mayall’s definition of democratic values. See Mayall, “Democracy and international society,” 64.  His definition of democratic values generally coheres with Lockean liberal values like life, liberty, rule of law without the emphasis on property rights and capitalism.

[10] See Bruce F. Pauley, “The Austrian Nazi Party before 1938,” in Conquering the Past: Austrian Nazism Yesterday & Today, ed. F. Parkinson (Detroit: Wayne State University Press 1989), 34-56.

[11] Melanie A. Sully, The Haider Phenomenon (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), 148-149.  Haider later dropped the use of the phrase “third republic” because of the criticism that it sounded too much like the “Third Reich.”

[12] The Germans have been “coming to grips with the past” while the Austrians escaped because they were the “first victims” of the Nazis.  See F. Parkinson, (Introduction), Conquering the Past, 11, for Austria’s silence concerning the Holocaust.

[13] Notable exceptions include: “Haider and the Hypocrites,” New Republic, 21 February 2000, 9; “Why Austria Faces Anger,” New York Times, 5 February 2000.

[14] Richard Bassett, Waldheim and Austria (New York: Penguin Books, 1990), 22-25.

[15] Ibid., 24.  Bassett recounts a story that demonstrates both Schuschnigg’s disdain for Hitler as well as his personal self-confidence.  When in a meeting with Hitler in 1938, “the Austrian Chancellor was browbeaten and abused for hours as the Fuhrer raved and cursed.  When Schuschnigg, who smoked heavily, reached for a cigarette, Hitler shrieked that he never allowed smoking in his presence.  To his credit, Schuschnigg lit the cigarette and, with raised eyebrows, tossed the match on to a nearby table.”

[16] “The Moscow Conference; October 1943 JOINT FOUR-NATION DECLARATION,” <http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/wwii/moscow.htm>.

[17] SeePauley, “The Austrian Nazi Party before 1938,” 34-56.

[18] Heidemarie Uhl, “The politics of Memory: Austria’s Perception of the Second World War and the National Socialist Period,” in Contemporary Austrian Studies volume five: Austrian Historical Memory & National Identity, eds. Günter Bischof & Anton Pelinka (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1997), 66.

[19] Uhl, “The politics of Memory,” 66.

[20] Ernst Josef Görlich and Felix Romanik, Geschichte Österriechs, (Innsbruck: Tyrolia, 1970), 551; quoted in Uhl, “The politics of Memory,” 73.

[21] Incidentally, Jorg Haider is governor of Carinthia today (April 30, 2001).

[22] Simon Wiesenthal, in Elfriede Schmidt, 1938…and the consequences, trans. Peter J. Lyth (Riverside, California: Areadne Press, 1992), 301.

[23] Ibid., 310 (quoting the mayor of Stuttgart speaking in Israel).

[24] For a broad view of the debates read, Forever in the shadow of Hitler?, trans. James Knowlton and Truett Cates (New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1993).

[25] Bassett, in Waldheim and Austria, notes that “before this statement was made [that the allies would take into account Austria’s participation in its liberation from the Nazis], little co-ordinated resistance had taken place in Austria , and what underground movements there were failed to score any runs” (p. 41).  The document surely was motivated by a desire to give courage to Austrian resistance fighters and not to assuage or to ignore Austrian participation in the war.

[26] “The Moscow Conference; October 1943 JOINT FOUR-NATION DECLARATION,” <http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/wwii/moscow.htm>.

[27] Evan Burr Bukey, Hitler’s Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938-1945 (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2000), 31.

[28] Bukey, Hitler’s Austria, 32-33.

[29] Bassett, Waldheim and Austria, 25.

[30] Bukey, Hitler’s Austria, 32-33.

[31] Bukey, Hitler’s Austria, 28.

[32] Bukey, Hitler’s Austria, 33.

[33] Even if one assumes that people were coerced or bribed into voting yes, this figure indicates that at least a majority of Austrians were in favor of the annexation of Austria.

[34] Bukey, Hitler’s Austria, 38-39.

[35] Ibid., 227-228.

[36] Melanie A. Sully, “The Waldheim Connection,” in Conquering the Past: Austrian Nazism yesterday & Today, ed. F. Parkinson (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989), 299.

[37] See Robert Edwin Herzstein, “The Present State of the Waldheim Affair: Second Thoughts and New Directions,” in Contemporary Austrian Studies volume five: Austrian Historical Memory & National Identity, eds. Günter Bischof & Anton Pelinka (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1997), 128 for a full discussion of US appreciation for Waldheim and CIA cover up for Waldheim’s nazi past.

[38] Gordon Brook-Shepherd, The Austrians: A thousand-year odyssey (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1997), 439, notes that, “[t]hey finally emerged from the Waldheim years not so much transformed as strengthened in some of their less admirable qualities.  They tended to be more anti-Semitic than ever and—ironically for a people who flourished on tourism—more enclosed.”

[39] Sully, The Haider Phenomenon, 3.

[40] Sonja Puntscher Riekmann, “The Politics of Ausgrenzung, the Nazi-Past and the European Dimension of the New Radical Right in Austria,” in Contemporary Austrian Studies, v7: The Vranitiztky Era in Austria, eds. Gunter Bischof, Anton Pelinka, and Ferdinand Karlhofer (New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 1999), 84.

[41] Max E. Riedlsperger, “FPÖ: Liberal or Nazi?,” in conquering the past: Austrian Nazism yesterday & today, ed. F. Parkinson (Detroit: Wayne State University Press 1989), 265.

[42] Jörg Haider, quoted in Sully, The Haider Phenomenon, 212.

[43] Sully, The Haider Phenomenon, 70.

[44] Bobbio, Left & Right, 59-60.

[45] Sully, The Haider Phenomenon, 26.

[46] Ibid., 71.

[47] Theodore W. Adorno, et al, “Introduction to The Authoritarian Personality,” in Critical Theory and Society: A Reader, eds. Stephen Eric Bronner and Douglas MacKay Kellner (New York: Routledge, 1989), 219.

[48] Sully, The Haider Phenomenon, 25.

[49] Manfred Steger, “Between Western European Integration and Eastern European Disintegration: Austrian Identity and the ‘New Nationalism’” paper presented at the 1993 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting.  Steger argues that Austria’s identity crisis stems from an historical association and comparison with Germany. John Fitzmourice, Austrian Politics and Society Today, (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990), presents data that indicates that the Austrian self-image, although historically overshadowed by Germany, has evolved considerably since the post World War I identity crisis.  Fitzmourice states that, “87% [of Austrians] now identify themselves as Austrians; a mere 9% identify themselves as Germans or German-Austrians.  Only 5% consider that Austria is not a nation” (177).

[50] Sully, The Haider Phenomenon, 144. 

[51] John Stuart Mill, “The ideals of Democracy,” in Communism, Fascism, and Democracy: The theoretical foundations, third edition, ed. Carl Cohen (Burn Ridge, Illinois: McGraw-Hill, 1997), 550.  I encourage the reader to consider John Stuart Mill’s thoughts on the value of political diversity.  Mill emphatically advocates freedom of thought when he writes that, “[t]hose in whose eyes this reticence on the part of heretics is no evil, should consider in the first place, that in consequence of it there is never any fair and thorough discussion of heretical opinions; and that such of them as could not stand such a discussion, though they may be prevented from spreading, do not disappear.  But it is not the minds of heretics that are deteriorated most, by the ban placed on all inquiry which does not end in the orthodox conclusions.  The greatest harm done is to those who are not heretics, and whose whole mental development is cramped, and their reason cowed, by the fear of heresy.”

[52] Jacob Heilbrunn believes that the problem is Austria, not Haider; See Jacob Heilbrunn, “A disdain for the past: Jorg Haider’s Austria,” World Policy Journal 17, no. 1 (2000): 9.

[53] Fitzmourice, Austrian Politics and Society Today, 4-5.  The entire book is really an excursus on the merits and flaws of the Austrian model of power sharing.  His concludes that Austria should not discard the system simply because it has flaws.  For this reason, I doubt that Fitzmourice would side with Haider although he would likely advocate more transparency and civic participation, especially public debate.

[54] Keeping Mill in mind, one may be tempted to criticize the notion that debate increases stability of a democratic regime.  After all, many consider Haider’s constant engagement in political debate to be detrimental to democratic consolidation in Austria.  However, as Joseph Wagner confirms, “Tolerant behavior is clearly central to most democratic theories;” see, Joseph Wagner, “Political Tolerance and Stages of Moral Development: a conceptual and empirical alternative,” Political Behavior 8, no. 1 (1986): 45.

[55] Heilbrunn, “A disdain for the past: Jorg Haider’s Austria,” World Policy Journal 17, no. 1 (2000): 5 (note: this article was found using infotrack and therefore page numbers do not correspond with actual journal pages).

[56] Ibid., 6.

[57] Bassett, Waldheim and Austria, 22.

[58] See Robert Knight, “Haider, the Freedom Party and the Extreme Right in Austria,” Parliamentary Affairs: A journal of comparative politics 45, no. 3 (July 1992): 297, for a discussion on the FPÖ’s as well as the OVP’s use of slogans like “Vienna to the Viennese” and the SPÖ’s crackdown on immigration and use of forced deportation of immigrants.

[59] Incidentally, Kate Connolly, “Critics accuse Haider of abusing libel laws,” The Guardian (London), 17 June 2000, reports that “The Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gadafy, has expressed admiration for Mr Haider, called him an ally in the fight against Zionism and promised to protect him against attacks from the EU.”

[60] PROGRAM OF THE  AUSTRIAN FREEDOM PARTY, <http://www.fpoe.at/englisch/Program.htm> Section V, article 2.

[61] 20 Points for the “Contract with Austria,” <http://www.fpoe.at/englisch.htm>.

[62] “Critics fear Austrian coalition is targeting arts and media dissent,” Irish Times, 14 July 2000. 

[63] Heilbrunn, “A disdain for the past,” 6.


[65] John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, ed. C. B. Macpherson (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1690, 1980), 11.

[66] My use of the term nation is congruent with Johan Galtung’s definition at his ISU lecture.  Nation is a cultural identity that is not confined to political borders.  See also, Martijn A. Roessingh, Ethnonationalism and Political Systems in Europe (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1996), 8-9

[67] Although Sully, The Haider Phenomenon, 55, states that the term “Islamic Fundamentalism” was changed to “religious Fundamentalism,” the quotation above was taken from the year 2000 English version of the FPÖ web page, indicating that this concept is still a part of the party’s platform.

[68] “Joerg Haider: The Rise of an Austrian Extreme Rightist,” <http://www.adl.org/backgrounders/joerg_haider.html>

[69] Simon Wiesenthal, quoted in Sully, The Haider Phenomenon, 221.

[70] Christian M. Traweger, Rainer Nick, and Jonathan O. Knuckey, “The Image of Politicians in Austria: Perceptions Held by the Mass Public and Politicians,” The American Review of Politics 19 (Spring 1998): 76.

[71] “Austrian Far-Right Party in Power,” about.com Dateline: 02/06/00.

[72] This paper surveys academic articles written as early as 1989 and as late as 1999: Max E. Riedlsperger, “FPÖ: Liberal or Nazi?,” in ed. F. Parkinson, conquering the past: Austrian Nazism yesterday & today, (Detroit: Wayne State University Press 1989); Robert Knight, “Haider, the Freedom Party and the Extreme Right in Austria,” Parliamentary Affairs: A journal of comparative politics 45, no. 3 (July 1992): 285-299; Manfred B. Steger, “Between Western European Integration and Eastern European Disintegration: Austrian Identity and the ‘New Nationalism.’”

[73] Toby Helm, “Austria swears in far-Right party,” Daily Telegraph (London), 4 February 2000.

[74] Ian Black, “Europe rallies against Haider,” Guardian (London), 4 February 2000.

[75] Martin Fletcher, “Tough approach to Austria opens up splits in European ranks,” Times (London), 4 February 2000.

[76] Eric Frey and Peter Norman, “Unwilling Klestil to swear in coalition,” Financial Times (London), 4 February 4 2000.

[77] “Hate and Haider,” Times (London), 4 February 4 2000.

[78]La Libre compares Czech situation with situation in Austria,” CTK National News Wire, 4 February 2000.

[79] Wobert Wielaard, “Once again, spat over Austria's government hangs over EU talks,” Associated Press, 6 May 2000.

[80] Clare Maccarthy, “Poll shows Danes turning against euro,” Financial Times (London), 8 July 2000, states that  “[t]here has been continuing opposition in the country to Europe's treatment of Austria and growing concern over perceived interference in the internal affairs of small countries.” The opponents of European union in Denmark make up 47% of the electorate.

[81] Donald G. McNeil Jr., “Why Austria Faces Anger,” New York Times, 5 February 2000.

[82] Heilbrunn, “A disdain for the past,” 8.

[83] The Maastricht Treaty TITLE I; COMMON PROVISIONS, 7th February 1992 <http://europa.eu.int/en/record/mt/title1.html> or <http://www.fib.se/maastric.html>.

[84] Note: the representative from Denmark claims that he was given no time to actually debate the issue and was essentially railroaded into the decision by the other members.

[85] Brook-Shepherd, The Austrians, 439.

[86] Bill Clinton, February 14, 2000 INTERVIEW OF THE PRESIDENT WITH WOLF BLITZER OF CNN.COM, <http://www.pub.whitehouse.gov/uri-res/I2R?urn:pdi://oma.eop.gov.us/2000/2/14/18.text.1>.

[87] Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Remarks at Stakeout Following Testimony Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., February 8, 2000.

[88] In fact Haider went to California precisely to study its immigrant laws; see, Sully, The Haider Phenomenon.  Also, Francisico L. Rivera-Batiz, “Underground on American Soil: Undocumented Workers and US Immigration Policy,” Journal of International Affairs 53, no. 2 (Spring 2000): 486, “the bashing of undocumented workers often starts with alarmist concerns that the US border is out of control. … California Governor Pete Wilson fueled this perception in the mid-1990s, when he declared that the nation was “under siege” from illegal aliens.”

[89] Ian Black, “Europe rallies against Haider coalition,” Guardian (London), 4 February 2000.

[90] Phil Reeves, “Israel’s envoy flies home after diplomatic ties broken,” Independent (London), 5 February 2000.

[91] See, Khalil Marar, “Unrealized Security: The Shortcomings of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process,” Critique…a worldwide student journal of politics 1 (Spring 2001): 1 <http://lilt.ilstu.edu/critique>; see also, Edward Said, Peace and its Discontents: Essays on Palestine in the Middle East Peace Process (New York: Vintage, 1995), 140-146.

[92] “World Jewish Congress delays sanctions against Austria,” CNN.COM, 18 May 2000.

[93] Incidentally, Austria has been a relatively long-term supporter of Islamic nations.  Both Kurt Waldheim and Jorg Haider have strong connections with the Islamic world; see for example, Brook-Shepherd, The Austrians, 435: “…Waldheim who, in American eyes, had taken up an unacceptably pro-Arab and anti-Israeli stance as Secretary-General.”  This inconsistency between the FPO platform and Austria’s empirical stand on Islam may be a way to placate the Jewish community or it may just be an inconsistency.  The important thing to note is that this part of the party platform has not been addressed in any of the debates on Haider and therefore points more to the Western World’s own xenophobia about Muslims.

[94] Gustavo Capdevila, “rights-Europe: advance of racist right-wing worries U.N.,” Inter Press Service, 21 March 21 2000.

[95] Joe Lauria, “breaking protocol, Annan raises concerns on Austrian coalition,” Boston Globe, 5 February 2000.

[96] David Cortright and George A. Lopez, et al, The Sanctions Decade: Assessing UN Strategies in the 1990s, (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2000), 21.

[97] Cortright and Lopez, et al, The Sanctions Decade, 28.

[98] Joshua Leinsdorf, “Jorge Haider, Elian Gonzalez and the Euro's Fall,” Institute of Election Analysis Home Page, <http://www.leinsdorf.com/haidergonzaleseuro.htm>.


[100] Linklater, “The evolving spheres of international justice,” 477.

[101] Bobbio, Left & Right, 69-70.

[102] See Richard Falk, Predatory Globalization: A Critique, (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 1999).

[103] Mayall, “Democracy and international society,” 73.

[104] Sonja Puntscher Riekmann, “The Politics of Ausgrenzung,” argues that the politics of exclusion actually helps to keep the party out of government and that it did not serve to increase Haider’s power base.  However, she continues that the real reason for his increase in power is that the dominant leaders of the other parties chose not to address Haider at all, and therefore did not address the very real concerns that he was addressing.

[105] “Haider and the Hypocrites,” New Republic, 21 February 2000, 9.

[106] For example, what is the fate of Palestinians in Israel?  And, what is the fate of American Indians, Mexican Americans, and African Americans in the United States?  What about Turks in Germany?



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