Ibizagate: Capturing a political field in flux

Karner, Christian (2021) Ibizagate: Capturing a political field in flux. Austrian History Yearbook . ISSN 0067-2378

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Ibizagate: Capturing a political field in flux
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Abstract

The “Ibiza-affair”, a succession of scandals triggered by undercover-recordings of the FPÖ’s former head Heinz-Christian Strache in compromising discussions with a purported Russian oligarch’s niece, has profoundly altered Austria’s political landscape and public debates. This article offers a historically contextualized analysis of the multiple voices and competing truth-claims articulated by diverse actors in the course of the scandal’s fall-out. Empirically, this discussion offers a systematic analysis of political- and media discourses focused on “Ibiza” between May 2019 and June 2020. Conceptually, the argument builds on Michel Foucault’s approach outlined in I, Pierre Rivière and its subsequent applications within nationalism studies. This analysis thus examines data through the questions as to who speaks about the event in question, how they do so, what is being claimed and disputed, and which political strategies and trajectories this enables. The competing, partly shifting positions revealed are the following: Strache’s initial regret that soon returned to a self-ascribed “victim-cum-martyr” status; the FPÖ’s distancing and eventual rupture from its formerly long-standing Bundesparteiobmann; the Kronen Zeitung’s attempted ideological repositioning; the ÖVP’s need and opportunity to shift its positions vis-à-vis its political competitors; and critical voices calling for far-reaching structural changes. With the full facts behind the scandal still to be established, the (post-Foucauldian) approach applied captures the contestations, (new) fault-lines and (shifting) political boundaries constitutive of a discursive field in a crisis-context.

Keywords:Austria, FPÖ, Ibizagate, nationalism, Michel Foucault, political crisis
Subjects:L Social studies > L214 Nationalism
R European Languages, Literature and related subjects > R930 Other European Societies and Cultures
L Social studies > L241 European Union Politics
L Social studies > L380 Political Sociology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:42287
Deposited On:10 Sep 2020 11:19

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