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This book argues that Germans and Austrians have dealt with the Nazi past very differently--with important consequences for political culture and partisan politics. David Art analyzes how public debates about the "lessons of history" created a culture of contrition in Germany that prevented a resurgent far right from consolidating itself in German politics after unification. By contrast, public debates in Austria nourished a culture of victimization that provided a hospitable environment for the rise of right-wing populism. The volume is for those interested in the memory of Nazism and the Holocaust, the rise of European far right parties and contemporary German and Austrian politics.Read more
- Comparison of role of Nazi past in contemporary German and Austrian politics
- Develops a theory of public debates
- 175 interviews with German and Austrian politicians, journalists, and civic activists
Reviews & endorsements
"This is an outstanding book. David Art tackles an important real-world issue--the effect of the Nazi past on recent and contemporary politics--and he provides a compelling and innovative argument about why Germany and Austria have dealt with their pasts so differently. He shows how the public debates that emerged in these two countries during the 1980s led to two very distinct types of right-wing populist movements: a weak and marginalized fringe in Germany, but a strong and influential far right party in Austria. This book will have a major impact on the fields of comparative politics and European politics, and it should also be widely noticed by scholars and students interested in political communication, history and politics, right-wing extremism, and the role of ideas in politics." Marc Morjé Howard, Georgetown UniversitySee more reviews
"To understand the differences between Germany and Austria, it is necessary to read David Art's book. Art stresses convincingly the reasons for and the results of different attitudes toward Nazism: After 1945, Germany had to accept the role of a perpetrator. Austria was allowed to nourish the role of a victim. The consequences are known from the Waldheim affair to Joerg Haideras rise to significant power, unthinkable in post-1945 Germany." Anton Pelinka, University of Innsbruck, Austria
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- Date Published: December 2005
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521673242
- length: 246 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.37kg
- contains: 3 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
2. Public debates and political change
3. The culture of contrition
4. The victim culture
5. Combating the Far Right in Germany
6. Taming the Far Right in Austria?
7. Conclusions and extensions.
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