Understanding Right-Wing Populism in Austria & Beyond

Panel discussion • Vienna • 2 June 2022

When: Thursday, 2 June 2022 - 18:00 CET
Where: The Vault Vienna, Schadekgasse 5 - 1060 Wien

The state of right-wing populism in Europe is a mixed one. Viktor Orban has entrenched his power in Hungary. Marine Le Pen secured the best result in the second round of the French presidential elections as of yet. At the same time, right-wing populists are also on the backtrack: Putin’s war has revealed the dangers of cozying up of right-wing populists to authoritarian leaders. Slovenia has voted for change and voted Janez Janša out of office. The aftermath of the corruption scandals that toppled the Austrian right-wing populist ÖVP-FPÖ coalition continue to disrupt Austrian politics even though its enabler Sebastian Kurz has stepped down.  

Against this background, FES Democracy of the Future has recently published the report Understanding Right-Wing Populism And What To Do About It which unpacks the reasons for success of right-wing populist parties in Europe. The report identifies regional patterns and commonalities of RWPPs across Europe showing the relevance of economic concerns driving right-wing populist support and the relevance of generous welfare policies in mitigating their success. One important take-away of the report's findings is countering the sucess of right-wing populists in Europe requires progressives to focus on issues of (economic) inequality rather than cultural issues.

The report’s lead authors Daphne Halikiopoulou and Tim Vlandas will join us in Vienna to present their findings focusing on the Austrian case after which we will have a panel discussion with the report’s authors, Laurenz Ennser-Jedenastik (University of Vienna) and Eva Konzett (Journalist at Falter) and Omar Al-Rawi (SPÖ Wien) discussing the state of right-wing populism in Austria and beyond with an involved Q&A. Refreshments and snacks will be served throughout (before, during amd after) the event with the invitation to stay after the offcial programme for informal exchanges in a cozy atmosphere.

This is a public event with limited seat capacity (45). We ask to register your participation in advance via email to krisztina.stefan(at)fes.de. An informal email indicating name and affiliation suffices. We confirm your guaranteed seat per email. Open seats will be allocated at the event on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The event will be held in English with the option to ask questions in German during the Q&A. There is the chance to grab snacks (incl. vegan/vegetarian options) and drinks before, during and after the official programme.


  • 18:00: Arrival and chance to have a bite from the buffet
  • 18:20: Welcome by Johanna Lutz (Director at FES Democracy of the Future, Vienna)
  • 18:30: Presentation of FES report by Daphne Halikiopoulou (University of Reading) & Tim Vlandas (University of Oxford)
  • 18:50: Roundtable Discussion with Q&A.
    Guests: Daphne Halikiopoulou (University of Reading), Laurenz Ennser-Jedenastik (University of Vienna), Eva Konzett (Falter) and Omar Al-Rawi (SPÖ Wien) – Moderation: Michael Jennewein (FES Democracy of the Future,Vienna)
  • 19:45: Option to stay for discussion and informal exchange while enjoying snacks and drinks
  • 21:00: End