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Austrian neutrality

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Abstract

Neutrality in Austria has a long and complex history: First, it was seen as something which was accommodated to please the Allied Forces. Slowly, neutrality became integrated into Austria's official identity. It is very positively connotated for many, emotionally laden for all, although very few know what it actually means and entails. The debates in the media and the discussion about European Security Policies as well as the meaning neutrality acquired for the main political parties in Austria, were the reason for a research project, undertaken in the Wittgenstein Research Center "Discourse, Politics, and Identity," in the years 1997–1999. The future of Austrian neutrality is open—the government which wants to exchange the neutrality status for North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-membership has significant problems to be accepted by NATO. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.