Civil Society Capture by Early Stage Autocrats in Well-Developed Democracies – The Case of Austria

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


The article presents the results of an empirical study on the current framework conditions for civil society
organizations in Austria. The results are linked to findings on how authoritarian governments deal with civil
society. The research shows that along with the current government’s gradual process towards right-wing populism
and authoritarianism, the general political climate has changed with regard to civil society, possibilities
of political participation, and the public financing of civil society organizations. The findings are linked to the
concept of civil society capture and reflect the overall wave of autocratization discussed by other authors. The
analysis of the gradual process of the development of authoritarian politics in a relatively stable and developed
democracy reveals the relevance of the findings for current tendencies in many other countries.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNonprofit Policy Forum
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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