Antisemitism and parliamentary rhetoric
Detailed analysis of parliamentary debate has so far been neglected in parliamentary studies as well as in contemporary theories of democracy. The political scientist Eva Kreisky and her team (Nicolas Bechter, Karin Bischof, Marion Löffler) from the University of Vienna seek to close this gap with a project supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF. Under the heading "Antisemitism as a political strategy and the development of democracy", the project sets out to analyse antisemitic rhetoric in Austria's parliament from 1945 until today. "It is our hypothesis that antisemitism is a useful indicator of democratic evolution, since modern democracies need to come to terms with pluralistic societies", says Eva Kreisky. The researcher views the plenary debates in parliament as a symbolic stage illustrating the limits of what can officially be said. "In our project we investigate whether, in what way, to what extent and at what periods parliamentarians have used antisemitism as a rhetorical political strategy in parliament since the Shoah and how this practice has undergone change", notes Kreisky.
Methods and scope
Taking typical features of parliamentary speeches into account, the team developed a system of categories which they use to screen a body of about 3,500 stenographic records. Prior to detailed analysis they conduct a keyword search to identify likely antisemitic statements: "Schlussstrich" (clean break), "Rothschild", "Verhetzung" (hate speech), "Hochfinanz" (high finance) or "Emigranten" (emigrants) are among these keywords. Apart from content-related criteria such as the topics addressed, lines of argument or semantics, the scientists also include characteristics of parliamentary debate such as calls to order or instances of ethos and pathos in the analyses. "We have put a great deal of effort into developing a methodology which is not about reconstructing deliberations resulting in a law being adopted, but about highlighting the symbolic processes taking place in the plenary. These processes are based on different approaches which you might call rhetoric battle strategies", is how Eva Kreisky explains the objectives of this basic research project.
Parliamentary rhetoric and democratic culture are closely interlinked. Parliament is part of a fabric of social structures which have an impact on these two aspects but are also marked by them. Accordingly, topics may be thrust into parliament from outside, such as growing concern over antisemitic incidents, but there are also lingering resentments. During the Second Austrian Republic, the understanding of what is considered to be antisemitic has evolved. Parliamentary debates demonstrate heightened sensitivity to antisemitism in reacting to scandals erupting in society and vice versa. The Austrian case shows that the reproach of antisemitism often equates to a lack of democratic awareness. "Fundamentally it can be said that open antisemitism is no longer tolerated in parliament", notes Kreisky in summarising the ongoing analyses. At the same time, more subtle ways of encrypting antisemitic allusions are detectable. But parliamentarians also display a heightened awareness of language, which means that even veiled allusions rarely slip by without objection. In this respect, Kreisky underlines, one must distinguish between plenary debate in parliament and other political arenas.
Austrian approach to democracy
The democratic identity of Austrian parties since 1945 has been strongly marked by a commitment to seeking consensus. Eva Kreisky stresses, however, that this has not banished suspicions of anti-democratic attitudes rooted in experience from the interwar years. Moreover, Austria has a tradition as regards the rule of law that reduces democracy to a set of formal processes and considers elections as being the main element of democratic participation. "This may also be interpreted as reflecting a certain mistrust with a view to how 'easily seduced' the population is", notes the political scientist. Austria's specificity in terms of a post-fascist society is the fact that Austria did not see itself as a perpetrator but rather as "Hitler's first victim". Focusing on the external "enemy" helped the crimes committed during the Austro-fascist period to fade into the background.
In the context of post-fascist societies, antisemitism research uses the term secondary antisemitism to denote a phenomenon that manifests itself in the deflection of blame, a reversal of the roles of perpetrator and victim and in denial. "In all probability there are, however, numerous similarities with other post-fascist states which have not been widely researched and emerged only after the end of the Cold War, such as blatant antisemitism in Hungary or Poland", concludes Eva Kreisky.
FWF Austrian Science Fund
The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is Austria's central funding organization for basic research.
The purpose of the FWF is to support the ongoing development of Austrian science and basic research at a high international level. In this way, the FWF makes a significant contribution to cultural development, to the advancement of our knowledge-based society, and thus to the creation of value and wealth in Austria.
em. o. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Eva Kreisky
Department of Political Science
University of Vienna
Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna
T +43 / 1 / 4277-47713
Austrian Science Fund FWF:
Haus der Forschung
T +43 / 1 / 505 67 40 - 8111
PR&D – Public Relations for Research & Education
T +43 / 1 / 505 70 44
This release was published on openPR.
Permanent link to this press release:
Please set a link in the press area of your homepage to this press release on openPR. openPR disclaims liability for any content contained in this release.
You can edit or delete your press release Antisemitism and parliamentary rhetoric here
News-ID: 341737 • Views: 1105
More Releases from FWF - Austrian Science Fund
While fear and aggression tend to curb our appetite, sadness and frustration seem to stimulate it. A project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF looks into the connections between mood and overeating in healthy and bulimic individuals. We know how it feels to look forward to our favourite dish; we are familiar with the notions of comfort food and feeling butterflies in the stomach instead of hunger. In eating
Neurosciences: a stress test for men and women
Whilst it is true that women and men respond differently to stress, current neuroscientific research only partially confirms traditional gender stereotypes. Other factors heavily contribute to the stress response such as self-esteem, hormones and stress regulation, as has been demonstrated by a project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF. How people react to stress is subjective. Gender also plays a fundamental role. Scientific studies have shown that the stress
Researching the grammar of sign language
Like spoken language, sign language has a complex and differentiated structure. One just has to be able to discern and interpret it. With the support of the Austrian Science Fund FWF, a research team from Klagenfurt is working on the elements of a grammar of sign language. It is language that distinguishes Homo sapiens from animals. A complex system in which smaller units combine into larger units, into sentences, into statements.
Using mathematics to hunt for computer errors
Improving the security of computer software and hardware requires mathematical analytic methods. Thanks to research by a team of computer scientists led by Krishnendu Chatterjee in a project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, these methods will work significantly faster in the future. Security gap in application discovered, update urgently recommended. Alerts like that can confront us every week. Often, a comprehensive update that addresses teething troubles is already
More Releases for Austria
Austria Agriculture Market | Austria Agriculture Industry | Austria Agriculture …
The share of Austria agriculture within the Austrian economy declined steady afterward World War II, agriculture continues to represent a very important part of the economy attributable to its social and political significance. The Chamber of Agriculture rests on an equal level with the chambers of commerce and labour, though its members manufactures solely a fraction of the GDP that industrial and sale able labours produce. Though little, the agricultural sector is
Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband 2018-2023 Austria Market Survey Industry Key Play …
WiseGuyReports.com "Austria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses" report has been added to its Research Database. Scope of the Report: Austria's telcos looking forward to major spectrum auctions for 5G. Austria's telecom market is dominated by the incumbent Telekom Austria and the cableco UPC Austria, though there has been greater competitive pressure in the fixed-line broadband and mobile sectors in recent years. In common with operators elsewhere in Europe,
Austria Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband Market Professional Survey with Industry …
WiseGuyReports.com “Austria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses” report has been added to its Research Database. Scope of the Report: Austria’s telcos looking forward to major spectrum auctions for 5G. Austria’s telecom market is dominated by the incumbent Telekom Austria and the cableco UPC Austria, though there has been greater competitive pressure in the fixed-line broadband and mobile sectors in recent years. In common with operators elsewhere in Europe,
Agrochemicals Market in Austria
ReportsWorldwide has announced the addition of a new report title Austria: Agrochemicals: Market Intelligence (2016-2021) to its growing collection of premium market research reports. The report “Austria: Agrochemicals: Market Intelligence (2016-2021)” provides market intelligence on the different market segments, based on type, active ingredient, formulation, crop, and pest. Market size and forecast (2016-2021) has been provided in terms of both, value (000 USD) and volume (000 KG) in the report. A
Nazi psychology in Austria
The history of academic psychology after the "Anschluss", the annexation of Austria by Germany in 1938, and its role as a discipline used in National Socialist policies is being examined systematically for the first time in a research project supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF. "It is a sad fact”, says psychologist Gerhard Benetka from the Sigmund Freud University Vienna "that applied psychology flourished during the National Socialist era
Creative Austria meets creative Russia
Euroforum: communicatin ready for the next lap Vienna. On 22nd of October 2009 the advertising association Vienna invites again to the annual Euroforum: communication event, platform for European communication, guaranteeing an interesting mix of “connecting businesses and communications”. The Event takes place in Studio 44, Vienna. Focus point Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sotschi) The main goal of the Euroforum is to promote and establish business relations and synergies between