Fabio Wolkenstein

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    The right is set to be the big winner in Austria’s upcoming general election

The right is set to be the big winner in Austria’s upcoming general election

Austria will hold a general election on 15 October. Fabio Wolkenstein takes stock of the campaign so far, which has seen the centre-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) move into a polling lead under the leadership of Sebastian Kurz. He suggests that the most likely outcome to emerge from the election will be a coalition between the ÖVP and the right-wing […]

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    Third-way à la française: What do Macron’s reforms involve and how likely are they to succeed?

Third-way à la française: What do Macron’s reforms involve and how likely are they to succeed?

Now that Emmanuel Macron has won a large majority in the French parliament, there are few obstacles preventing him from implementing his ambitious reform agenda. But what exactly will Macron’s reforms involve and are they likely to be successful? Philip Rathgeb and Fabio Wolkenstein draw a parallel between Macron’s agenda and the ‘Third Way’ politics of Gerhard Schröder. But […]

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    Austria’s presidential election: Van der Bellen has won, but there is little reason for complacency

Austria’s presidential election: Van der Bellen has won, but there is little reason for complacency

On 4 December, Alexander van der Bellen won Austria’s presidential election, defeating Norbert Hofer of the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria. Fabio Wolkenstein assesses the result, writing that although the populist right may be defeated for now, returning to ‘politics as usual’ would be a serious mistake for the country’s mainstream politicians.

Alexander van der Bellen won the re-run of […]

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    Norbert Hofer, the friendly face of Austria’s populist right

Norbert Hofer, the friendly face of Austria’s populist right

With his friendly, moderate appearance, the right-wing populist Norbert Hofer has come within a whisker of the Austrian presidency. In December a second rerun of the election will determine whether he can lead the Freedom Party (FPÖ) into power. Fabio Wolkenstein looks at the extraordinarily wide range of executive powers available to the Austrian president, including the right to dismiss […]

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Austria after the presidential election: a country divided

Alexander Van der Bellen won Austria’s presidential election on 22 May, defeating Norbert Hofer, who would have become the EU’s first far-right head of state. Fabio Wolkenstein writes that a key turning point in the campaign was the resignation of Austria’s Chancellor, Werner Faymann, and that the country is now a divided one with the electorate split between two […]

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    A long goodbye to the grand coalition: Austria’s presidential election

A long goodbye to the grand coalition: Austria’s presidential election

Following the first round of Austria’s presidential election, Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the Green-affiliated independent candidate Alexander van der Bellen will contest the second round of voting on 22 May. However for the first time in the country’s post-war history, the next President will not be backed by either of Austria’s two traditionally dominant parties, […]

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    What Austria’s migrant crisis says about the country’s sovereignty

What Austria’s migrant crisis says about the country’s sovereignty

On 7 September the Austrian government announced its intention to phase out emergency measures that allowed thousands of migrants to travel from Hungary into Western Europe. Fabio Wolkenstein writes that the nature of the current crisis has necessitated abandoning the so-called Dublin Regulation, which establishes that asylum applications should go through the state where an applicant first entered the EU. […]

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The SPD’s ‘referendum’ on the German coalition agreement poses legitimate problems, but it could also reaffirm citizens’ confidence in party politics

Last month, the SPD and Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU negotiated an agreement to form Germany’s next government. Before the agreement can be put into practice, however, it will be subject to a ‘referendum’ among the SPD’s membership. Fabio Wolkenstein writes that while the referendum has been criticised from a democratic and legal standpoint, it may have the potential to strengthen the […]

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The success of anti-system parties in the Austrian election reflects very real problems with political corruption

Austria’s elections on 29 September produced the worst electoral showing for the country’s two major parties, the SPÖ and ÖVP, since the end of the Second World War. As Fabio Wolkenstein writes, the main beneficiaries were smaller parties, particularly those articulating anti-system sentiments. Far from relying on empty rhetoric, however, he argues that the success of such parties reflects real […]

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