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Austria's International Position after the End of the Cold War

308 pages

In the past quarter century we have moved from the Cold War to the Post-Cold War era in Austria, Europe and the world at large. Yet relatively little assessment is available what the change from the Cold War to the Post-Cold War era signaled for Austria's position in the world. Austrian foreign policy went through sea changes. The country lost its exposed Cold War geopolitical location on the margins of Western Europe along the iron curtain. With the removal of the iron curtain Austria moved back into its central location in Europe and rebuilt her long-standing traditional relations with neighbors to the East and South. Austria joined the European Union in 1995 and thus further “Westernized.” Its policy of neutrality-so central to its foreign policy during the Cold War-largely eroded during the past quarter century, even though pro forma and for reasons of identity, the country holds on to its neutral position. Austrian failed to join NATO and gained the reputation of a “security free rider.”


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Austria's International Position after the End of the Cold War

Günter Bischof and Ferdinand Karlhofer (dir.)
  • Publisher: innsbruck university press, University of New Orleans Press
  • Year of publication: 2013
  • Published on OpenEdition Books: 29 septembre 2016
  • Serie: Contemporary Austrian Studies
  • Electronic ISBN: 9783903122369

OpenEdition Books

http://books.openedition.org

Printed version
  • ISBN: 9783902936011
  • Number of pages: 308
 
Electronic reference

BISCHOF, Günter (ed.) ; KARLHOFER, Ferdinand (ed.). Austria's International Position after the End of the Cold War. New edition [online]. Innsbruck: innsbruck university press, 2013 (generated 29 September 2016). Available on the Internet: <http://books.openedition.org/iup/282>. ISBN: 9783903122369.

This text was automatically generated on 29 septembre 2016.

© innsbruck university press, 2013

Terms of use:
http://www.openedition.org/6540

In the past quarter century we have moved from the Cold War to the Post-Cold War era in Austria, Europe and the world at large. Yet relatively little assessment is available what the change from the Cold War to the Post-Cold War era signaled for Austria's position in the world. Austrian foreign policy went through sea changes. The country lost its exposed Cold War geopolitical location on the margins of Western Europe along the iron curtain. With the removal of the iron curtain Austria moved back into its central location in Europe and rebuilt her long-standing traditional relations with neighbors to the East and South. Austria joined the European Union in 1995 and thus further “Westernized.” Its policy of neutrality-so central to its foreign policy during the Cold War-largely eroded during the past quarter century, even though pro forma and for reasons of identity, the country holds on to its neutral position. Austrian failed to join NATO and gained the reputation of a “security free rider.”

Günter Bischof

Marshall Plan Professor of History and the director of Center Austria at the University of New Orleans.

Ferdinand Karlhofer

Associate professor and chair in the Department of Political Science at the University of Innsbruck.

Table of contents
  1. Preface

    Günter Bischof
  2. Introduction

    Of Dwarfs and Giants from Cold War Mediator to Bad Boy of Europe Austria and the U.S. in the Transatlantic Arena (1990-2013)

    Günter Bischof
    1. Still Mediator? The End of the Cold War, the War, the War against Iraq, and the Breakup of Yugoslavia 1989-1995
    2. Neutrality or NATOR? Austria’s Accession to the European Union and Role in the Kosovo Conflict 1995-2000
    3. European Pariah? The Formation of ÖVP - FPÖ Coalition Government in 2000-2001
    4. A Neutral Stuck in ‘Old Europe’? Terrorism and the Bush Wars (2001-2008)
    5. Conclusion
  3. Austrian foreign and security policy

    1. On the Road to a Modern Identity: Austrian Foreign Policy from the Cold War to the European Union

      Ursula Plassnik
    2. Austrian Cultural and Public Diplomacy After the End of the Cold War

      Emil Brix
      1. The New Position in Central Europe
      2. The Institutional Expansion of Austrian Cultural Promotion Abroad
      3. New Policy Priorities and Strategic Shifts
      4. European Issues
      5. A Difficult Return of the Past
      6. Opening Public Diplomacy ti Global Issues
      7. Cultural Diplomacy is More than an Image Transmitte
      8. Perspectives
    3. Austrian Security Policy after the End of the Cold War

      Erwin A. Schmidl
      1. Introduction
      2. Varying Concepts of Military Defense
      3. EU Accession. “Neutrality Debate” and Looking Towards NATO
      4. Continuing the Reforms
      5. Participation in International Operations
      6. Ongoing Debates
      7. A View to the Future
    4. What Does It Mean To Be Neutral?

      Postwar Austria from a Comparative Perspective

      James J. Sheehan
      1. Neutrality and the Cold War
      2. Neutrals and the Problem of International Organizations
      3. Does Neutrality Have a Future?
  1. Eastern Europe and the Balkans

    1. Austria and Eastern Europe in the Post-Cold War Context

    1. Between the Opening of the Iron Curtain and a New Nation-Building Process in Eastern Europe

      Arnold Suppan
      1. The Dissolution of Yugoslavia
      2. Multiethnicity and Multiculturalism in Austria
      3. Austria Under EU “Sanctions”
      4. On the Way to NATO and EU
    2. The Return of History in the Balkans after the Cold War: International Efforts at Crisis Management and Conflict Resolution

      Hanspeter Neuhold
      1. The United Nations: Collective Security after the Cold War
      2. NATO: An Alliance Surviving the “Loss” of its Enemy
      3. The EU: The First Steps in the Areas of Security and Defense Policy
      4. The OSCE: Variations on the Theme of “Softness”
      5. Austria: A Permanently Neutral Balkan Activist
      6. Conclusions
    3. Austrian Foreign Trade and Austrian Companies’ Economic Engagement in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) since 1989

      Andreas Resch
      1. Historical preconditions - Austria and CEE since the 19th century
      2. Foreign Direct Investment
      3. Trade relations
      4. Résumé
  1. Foreign policy and memory

    1. Historical Memory and the Debate about the Vertreibung Museum

      Norman M. Naimark
      1. The Issue of Vertreibung (Forced Deportations)
      2. Planning the Museum
      3. Conclusions
      4. Afterword
  2. Nontopical essays

    1. The Rise and Decline and Rise of Austria’s Radical Right

      Ferdinand Karlhofer
      1. Introduction
      2. Party Formation with Nazi Veterans Taking the Lead
      3. Vetween Pariah and Hinge Party
      4. Populist Turn and Comeback of Right-wingers
      5. Issues, Voters, ans Members
      6. The Center Parties’ Response to the Populist Challenge
      7. The FPO in Government and After-Failure without Collapse
      8. Conclusions and Outlook: No Escape from the Vicious Circle?
      9. Postscript: The Carinthia debacle, March 2013
  1. Book reviews

    1. Dieter Stiefel. Camillo Castiglioni oder Die Metaphysik der Haifiscke

      Vienna: Böhlau. 2012

      Harold James
    2. Brigitte Kepplinger and Irene Leitner (eds.), worker on by Andrea Kammerhofer, Dameron Report: Bercht des War Crimes Investigating Teams No. 6824 der U.S. Army vom 17.7.1945 über die Tötungsanstalt Hartheim

      Innsbruck: Stidienverlag, 2012

      Gerhard L. Weinberg
    1. Thomas König. Die Frühgeschichte des Fulbright Program in Österreich: Transatlantische "Fühlungnahme auf dem Gebiet der Erziehung" (Transatlantica 6)

      Innsbruck: StudienVerlag. 2012

      Berndt Ostendorf
    2. The Expulsion of the Sudeten Germans from Postwar Czechovakia: A Review Essay

      Adrian von Arburg, Tomas Stanek, et., Vysídlení Nĕmců a promĕny českého pohraniči 195-1951: dokumenty z českých archive; 1. Češi a Nĕmci do roko 1945: úvod k edici; 2.1. Duben - srpen/září 1945: "Divoky odsuln" a počátky osídlovaní (Středokluky 2010-2011)

      David Schrift
    3. Benya und der Austrosozialismus: Erinnerungen und Gedanken. Edited by Heinzl Kienzl. Herbert Starkr

      Vienna: Ögb Verlag. 2012

      Anton Pelinka
    4. Margit Reiter and Helga Embacher. eds., europa und der 11, September 2011

      Vienna: Böhlau Verlag 2011

      Günter Bischof
  1. Annual review

    1. Annual review

      Austria 2012-2013

    1. Reinhold Gärtner
  1. List of authors

Preface

Günter Bischof

In the historical profession today diplomatic history and foreign relations are not considered sexy and fashionable topics. Many colleagues think this is a hidebound field. Young colleagues engage in cultural studies, the history of emotions, and continue to show great interest in social history and the history of minorities. Political history does not attract young scholars much either. Yet the need to assess a nation’s foreign relations persists. In the past quarter century we have moved from the Cold War to the Post-Cold War era in Austria, Europe and the world at large. Yet relatively little assessment is available what the change from the Cold War to the Post-Cold War era signaled for Austria’s position in the world. Austrian foreign policy went through sea changes. The country lost its exposed Cold War geopolitical location on the margins of Western Europe along the iron curtain. With the removal of the iron curtain Austria moved back into its central location in Europe and rebuilt her long-standing traditional relations with neighbors to the East and South. Austria joined the European Union in 1995 and thus further “Westernized.” Its policy of neutrality — so central to its foreign policy during the Cold War — largely eroded during the past quarter century, even though pro forma and reasons of identity, the country holds on to its neutral position. Austrian failed to join NATO and gained the reputation of a “security free rider.”

From these basic post-1989 foreign policy reorientations many subsequent political, social and mental departures followed. As a result of the country’s opening to East and South, Austrian business and banking invested big time in the formerly communist Soviet satellites — since 1989 newly independent countries. Austrian businesses wreaked tremendous profits from helping to rebuild prosperity and thus “Westernizing” (not necessarily “Americanizing”) the region. Austria continued to act as a “cultural superpower” and established a whole host of highly visible cultural representations in Eastern and Southern Europe. While Austria’s relations with its traditional neighbors to the East and South and Western Europe flourished, and strong diplomatic representations were built in Asia and China, relations with the United States wilted. In 2007 the Austrian Foreign Ministry was renamed Ministry of European and International Affairs, reflecting these new priorities in the world. Even the ancient locus of the center of foreign policy formulation has changed. Austrian diplomacy is no longer conducted from the Ballhausplatz but from Albertinaplatz and Herrengasse in Vienna’s first district. Austrian diplomats, building on an old and distinguished tradition, managed to be appointed to many important assignments as mediators, particularly in the post-Yugoslav conflict region in the Western Balkans, by the European Union and the international community. Also, the face of the Austrian foreign service changed dramatically; it is no longer a preserve of male dominance — women increasingly have seized the reins of power in Austrian diplomacy. In the past quarter century Austria distanced itself from its postwar politics of history of claiming to be a “victim of Hitlerite Germany.” Austrian governments concede now that many of their co-nationals had been perpetrators of war crimes during World War II and Austria took responsibility of paying restitution to those truly victimized during World War II. So, an assessment of Austria’s foreign relations and international position in the years since the end of the Cold War is needed.

A core portion of the papers in this volume (Arnold Suppan, Erwin Schmidl, Hanspeter Neuhild, James, Sheehan, Norman Naimark) were first delivered in a conference organized by the “European Forum” at Stanford University and the University of Vienna in March 2009 (for the program see http://iis-db.stanford.edu/evnts/5377/Stanford-University_of_Vienna_Conference-March_5-6-2009-Conference_Schedule_-_FINAL.pdf). We would like to thank the Stanford European Forum’s Roland Hsu und Amir Eshel for the conference arrangements and Sean McIntyre for a first round of editing the Stanford papers. Wolfgang Mueller and Arnold Suppan were among the Austrian participants of the workshop and kind enough to suggest these papers be published in Contemporary Austrian Studies. While I was a guest scholar at Vienna’s Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen in June 2012, Mueller engaged me in mapping out a CAS volume built on the Stanford papers. At this point the rest of the authors were invited to contribute essays to flesh out the range of themes in this volume (Ursula Plassnik, Emil Brix, Andreas Resch). We are very grateful to Wolfgang Mueller for his vital contribution in helping us put together the core portion of the volume — the essays dealing with the foreign and security policy issues. Ferdinand Karlhofer’s non-topical essay provides an update on the state of the post-Haider Austrian Freedom Party FPÖ, the ups and downs of an Austrian policy field that CAS has been covering for the past twenty years. As always, book reviews and the Annual Review of Austrian Politics complete the volume. We are grateful to all the contributors of the volume for their cooperative spirit in completing the editing process of their essays.

Apart from Wolfgang Mueller and the colleagues at Stanford, a number of people have been instrumental in making the completion of this collection possible. Dominik Hofmann-Wellenhof, the 2012/13 Austrian Ministry of Science Dissertation Fellow at UNO and PhD student in German Studies at the University of Graz, worked hard on tracking every manuscript through copy-editing and proof-reading and towards final publication. Lauren Capone at UNO Publishing put her customary skills into copy-editing the individual manuscripts and type-setting the final pdf of the volume. At CenterAustria Gertraud Griessner and Christian Riml conducted the Center’s daily business with superb efficiency to allow the co-editor to work on his essay and manage the completion of the volume. Without the CenterAustria-UNO Publishing Team there would be no CAS series. At innsbruck university press Birgit Holzner was helpful with the final round of proof-reading and then producing the volume for the European market. Cooperating with her has become a big bonus in the production of these volumes. Günther Haller of the photo archives of Die Presse in Vienna was most helpful in helping us find the pictures to illustrate this volume. Die Presse, Hopi Media, and the Austrian Press Agency granted us rights to publish these pictures. We are grateful to them all.

As always, we are grateful to our sponsors for making the publication of the CAS series possible at all: at the Universities of Innsbruck and New Orleans our thanks got to Matthias Schennach of the Büro für Internationale Beziehungen as well as Klaus Frantz and Christina Sturn of the UNO Office as well as Kevin Graves, the Acting Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. We are also grateful to Rektor Tilmann Märk and President Peter Fos for their support of the UNO – Innsbruck partnership agenda, including its publications. At the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York Andreas Stadler and Hannah Liko have supported our work as has Martin Eichtinger, the chief of the Cultural Division of the Austrian Ministry of European and International Affairs. In the Ministry of Science and Research and its student exchange office Ősterreichischer Auslandsdienst (ŐAD), we are grateful to Barbara Weitgruber, Christoph Ramoser, Josef Leidenfrost, and Florian Gerhardus. Eugen Stark and the board members of the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation have been our strongest supporters for more than a decade now. It is a great pleasure and privilege to work with them all and acknowledge their unerring support of CenterAustria and its activities.

New Orleans, April 2013

Introduction

Of Dwarfs and Giants from Cold War Mediator to Bad Boy of Europe Austria and the U.S. in the Transatlantic Arena (1990-2013)

Günter Bischof

I would like to thank both Judeh Maher for his online research in American newspapers and Christian Riml for his help with researching Austrian newspapers. For their suggestions, critiques and keen advice I am very grateful to Alexander Smith, Berthold Molden, Peter Moser, Emil Brix and Anton Pelinka. Hanspeter Neuhold graciously saved me from some embarrassing formulations relating to international law. Mistakes and ill-advised interpretations continue to remain my own.

During the Cold War Austria was the superpowers’ “darling” of sorts and saw itself playing a “special role” between East and West. As a Cold War neutral it played a crucial role as a mediator and “bridge builder” between East and West. Vienna was the site of important summit meetings (Kennedy-Khrushchev in 1961, Carter – Brezhnev in 1979), and longrunning arms control conferences (Conventional Force Reduction Talks), as well as becoming the third host (with New York and Geneva) of important United Nations agencies like the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Austria was an important player among the Neutral & Non-Aligned states in the preparation and execution of the Conference of Security and Cooperation in Europe, culminating in the Helsinki meeting in 1975 and cementing détente in Europe, and its follow-up meetings. After the end of the four-power postwar occupation (1945-1955), U.S. – Austrian relations “normalized.” Politically, Washington respected Austrian neutrality since Foreign Minister and then Chancellor Bruno Kreisky defined his “active neutrality” policy as very pro-Western. Economically, Austria continued to profit from the counterpart funds left over by the Marshall Plan. In 1961, the American government handed over the entire counterpart account to the government of Julius Raab, who initiated the “ERP-Fonds” as an important permanent long-term, low-interest investment vehicle for the Austrian economy.Austrians’ perceived their “special case” during four-power occupation (1945-55) and then as a Cold War neutral as a “Sonderfall” – call it “Austro exceptionalism.”

The U.S. tolerated the Austria’s growing trading relationship with Eastern Europe in the 1970s but looked askance at Austrian high-tech export to the Communist Bloc during the Reagan 1980s. Culturally, like the rest of Western Europe growing “Americanized” defined Austrian youth and acted on its part as a quasi-“cultural superpower” in its representations in the U.S.2 Austria made up its failure to integrate into the European Economic Community by closely aligning with the West German economy; while serving as a “secret ally” of the West during the occupation decade and beyond, it kept its defense expenditures to a minimum, never amounting to a credible level to defend its neutrality. Austria’s neutral status was incompatible with joining NATO and the transatlantic structures and networks emanating from it.3

The end of the Cold War (1989-1991) dramatically changed both the U.S.’s and Austria’s international positions. The United States transmuted into a hegemonic giant (what the French Foreign Minister Hubert Védrine termed “hyperpower”)4, while Austria joined the European Union and became a dwarf of sorts (in the EU and in the world at large). Since the Presidency of George H. W. Bush, Austria — with its absorption into the EU and its failure to join NATO — figured less significantly in the U.S.’ geopolitics. The Bush administration virtually ignored Austria during the dramatic events of 1989/90.5 On the mental map of American policy makers Austria moved from Central to Western Europe (the European Economic Communities, NATO), while formerly communist “Eastern Europe” became “Central Europe,” namely the new post-Communist countries of East Central Europe that were rushing towards NATO and the EU.6

In 1989, when the Iron Curtain came down, Austria redirected her foreign policy both towards Central and Western Europe as Ursula Plassnik explains in considerable detail in her contribution to this volume. It rebuilt traditional ties with her East Central European and Western Balkans neighbors, building stronger trading and banking ties and investing enormously in the new markets of formerly communist Eastern Europe, while completing its economic integration into the European Economic Communities. In 1995 Austria joined the European Union and both its developing “Common Foreign and Security Policy” and (later under the Lisbon Treaty) “European Security and Defence Policy.”7 Becoming part and parcel of the ever deepening European political, military and economic integration processes, Vienna realigned its foreign policy with Brussels, abandoning Washington’s formerly tight embrace, which had been loosening since the Reagan years anyway.8 Austria moved towards full political and economic integration with Western Europe but never fully aligned its security policy with the Atlantic community — thusly it never fully arrived in the West. Meanwhile, Austria’s investments and trade grew with her newly democratic neighbors in Central and Eastern Europe, as Andreas Resch’s essay shows, as did Austria’s cultural activities in the region and her public diplomacy position as Emil Brix’s essay deeply documents in this collection.

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