Resilient Legal Culture? How to Deal with Elements of Authoritarian Populism in Austria

Are we witnessing authoritarian populism in Austrian politics; and is Austrian democracy in decay? This paper seeks to answer these questions by taking stock of recent developments in Austria. The analysis will first outline several recent political scandals (1.). Second, the concept of authoritarian populism will be defined (2.). Afterwards, a matching analysis will be performed to evaluate whether political events fit the definition of authoritarian populism (3.). Based on this analysis, a diagnosis will be made that democracy is indeed in decay in Austria. Recent political events show a decrease in the functionality of Austrian democracy (4.). In response to this finding, the paper asks what constitutional law in particular and legal culture in general can do to prevent such events. It will also provide some proposals promising some relief (5.). The immediate future, however, seems rather dark since those protagonists who would need to act seem to be those in need of correction.