The search of ways out of crisis of the Social Democratic Movement of Austria

Keywords: political parties, crisis of social democratic movements, electoral crisis, the Social Democratic Party of Austria, populist parties, political program, organizational Statute


The article is devoted to the crisis of social democratic movements in Western Europe in the XXI century. Emphasis is placed on the evolution of the Social Democratic Party of Austria. Of great importance are the developments of such scientists who dealt with this problem, as K. Kholodkovsky, N. Rabotyazhev, A. Vilkov, G. Nidermyulbihler, G. Sidl, G. Moschonas. The structure of the article is as follows. The first part shows a tendency to reduce electoral support for socialist and social democratic parties in countries such as France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Austria and Greece. The general causes of the crisis of the Social Democrats are highlighted. Firstly, in the conditions of depopulation of the population and globalization of production, the working class is being eroded, conditions which supported decades social democrats across the whole Europe disappear. Secondly, social democrats, addressing target audience ceased to consider its specifics. Thirdly, owing to the crisis phenomena in the EU, migration crisis, deepening of inequality there is a radicalization as right and left electorate.The analysis of researches of the Austrian Institute of social researches and consulting of SORA indicates that the Social Democratic Party of Austria has ceased to be a «party of workers», its support base is currently voting more for the Austrian Freedom Party. Also the analysis of flows of voters between parliamentary parties (NET) of the last four electoral cycles in Austria states a steady trend of transition of bigger number of votes from social democrats to the right populists.In the second part in a chronological order four stages of modernization of ideology and complex organizational reform of the Social Democratic Party of Austria which captured the period from May, 2014 to November, 2018 are allocated and analysed. The main provisions of the new political program of the party, in which the Social Democratic Party of Austria offers voters their vision of solving the problems of the 21st century, as well as the structure and important points of the new organizational Statute, are considered. The key points of the new program are the digital revolution, the fair distribution of work and working time, resources and opportunities, as well as education, social security, a dignified old age, the expansion of non-commercial housing construction, forced migration, environmental problems, in particular global warming. Important points of the new Statute include the strengthening of the role of ordinary members of the party, the possibility of obtaining guest member status for one year with the right to become a permanent member of the party, the expansion of thematic and project initiatives.In conclusions major factors which acted as the trigger to fundamental updating of the Social Democratic Party of Austria, feature of this process are allocated. Results of a research can have a certain value for the scientists researching the social democratic movement and also subjects of party and political life.


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How to Cite
Parlyk, V. (2019). The search of ways out of crisis of the Social Democratic Movement of Austria. Grani, 22(2), 69-79.