The essays in this volume are dedicated to the ups and downs of 100 years of Austrian democracy. On the occasion of the founding of the First Austrian Republic on November 12, 1918, Austrians celebrated the 100th anniversary of this event in recent Austrian history.
Due to the deep divisions of the Austrian political camps (parties) democratic governance was troubled in the 1920s and ended in authoritarian rule in 1933. After World War II, the two principal political parties ÖVP (Christian conservatives) and SPÖ (Socialists), learned to work with one another in grand coalition governments and established a stable democratic regime. With the “Freedom Party” (FPÖ) turning populist, xenophobic and anti-European Union, paired with the arrival of new parties such as the environmentalist/progressive “Greens,” the Austrian party system realigned in 1986 and new center-right coalitions (ÖVP and FPÖ) came to govern Austria. Today political campaigns in Austria, too, are run on social media and millennials have less faith in democracy.