Neuer Artikel online: Right-wing populist affective governing: a frame analysis of Austrian parliamentary debates on migration

Ein neuer Artikel von Prof. Dr. Birgit Sauer, in Zusammenarbeit mit Daniel Thiele und Otto Penz ist erschienen.

In the aftermath of the ‘summer of migration’ of 2015, right-wing populist discourses became increasingly commonplace. This article by Thiele, Sauer and Penz investigates the resurgence of nativist and anti-migration attitudes in Austria by focusing on parliamentary debates between 2015 and 2019 concerned with migration, asylum policies and integration measures. Their theoretical approach builds first on Cas Mudde’s conception of right-wing populism—which proceeds from the premise of corrupt ‘elites’ and threatening Others—and then combines it with theories on the politics of emotion and affects. By employing a critical affective frame analysis, the study examines how right-wing populist arguments by political actors are always intertwined with affects, like anger, fear and hope, in order to mobilize followers and voters. They regard these connections as governing strategy aiming at right-wing exclusion, a mode of governing through affects, which tends to change the affective atmosphere in Austria, that is, what is conceivable, speakable and feelable with regard to migration and refugees. As it turns out, not only the notorious Freedom Party (FPÖ) (with a longstanding far-right tradition) but also the refurbished People’s Party (ÖVP) under their new leader Sebastian Kurz, draw on discourses that are exclusionary as well as affective, encouraging the Austrian population rather to fear migrants and to feel anger, in order to mobilize them against threatening ‘migration waves’ and ‘illegal immigration’.


Link: Full article: Right-wing populist affective governing: a frame analysis of Austrian parliamentary debates on migration (

Neuer Artikel online: Radical right populist debates on female Muslim body-coverings in Austria. Between biopolitics and necropolitics

Ein neuer Artikel von Prof. Dr. Birgit Sauer ist erschienen.

The Austrian Parliament has passed three laws since 2018 that prohibit wearing Muslim body-coverings in public. This departure from a formerly tolerant approach is an outcome of ongoing anti-Muslim campaigns by the radical-right populist Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). The party has been mobilising since the mid-1980s through the creation of two antagonisms: ‘the elite’ and second against ‘Others’ – mainly migrants. Since the turn of the century, this anti-migrant mobilisation has targeted the intersection of gender and religion by focusing on veiled Muslim women. Targeting this intersection of gender and religion, the article applies a critical frame analysis of 19 FPÖ documents from 2006 to 2020 on restrictive rulings about female Muslim body-covering. It finds that Austrian radical right populist campaigns emphasise the female body and construct the Austrian ‘people’ (biopolitics), while necropower constructs Muslim migrants as non-belonging, excludable, and erasable.