Hunt or Be Hunted? Immigration as a “Legitimate” Enemy Strategy in the 2017 Austrian General Election

Activity: Talk or presentationScience to science


Studying the 2017 general election, this paper explores the behavior of populist radical right parties in Austria and aims to determine the degree to which their positions on immigration were shared by mainstream parties. We hypothesize that in the 2017 election campaign period, all five parties that later made it into parliament adopted populist “legitimate” enemy strategy formerly reserved to the right-wing Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ). Official election manifestos and a unique dataset from the online vote match tool Wahlkabine are analyzed to trace and quantify “legitimate” enemies in parties’ appeal to the electorate. Results indicate that the two parties with the highest election gains, ÖVP and FPÖ, do indeed share several key ideologies on immigration.
Period5 Apr 20188 Apr 2018
Event title76th Annual MPSA Conference
Event typeUnkonwn
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 504021 Migration research
  • 504006 Demography