Gunter Bischof

  • Comparing economic development in a regional context both in the South of the United States and in the European Union today raises many fascinating questions. How much money in the form of tax credits and subsidies should communities and states invest to attract foreign investors in the U.S.? Should individual states and communities in the U.S. commit public funds in the form of tax money and tax credits etc. to bring foreign businesses to their shores? Is the argument of bringing "jobs" and more employment home the only argument that should count politically? Or might these generous subsidies doled out to foreign businesses from public funds deprive local populations from improving their infrastructure and public education? What if these foreign investors then locate to other shores if their investments are not profitable enough in the short run? Might foreign investors come to the American South because it has never been unionized like the rest of the country? Is the attraction of the non-union South then only a means to get away from the burdens of stricter worker protection and social programs at home in Germany or Austria or elsewhere?

  • The world today is far less a global village than a "global city", as global network of multidimensional urban spaces of congestion prominently forming - and also formed by - globalization. But the relevance of cities is nothing but new. They were essential for culture and civilization worldwide, they allowed a centralization of power and knowledge and they were crucial for the division of labor and for the organization of mass demand. Further, as places of intense and continuous interactions, cities are the locations par excellence for global history to take place. Thus, there is a need to study the history of cities in connection with the history of globalization from this perspective. This book is dedicated to contribute to the still underdeveloped but growing literature connecting the history of cities worldwide and their relation to global processes. The authors do so from various disciplinary backgrounds and by referring to different times and places. We visit ancient Alexandria, nineteenth century Zanzibar, and modern-day São Paolo, among others, and we view these cities not only in their globality, but also through their heritage, their economic relevance, their architecture, or financial flows connecting them. Further, the book also contains systematic considerations about "global city", especially the general role of cities in development, cities in global history teaching, and cities' relationships to global commodity chains.

  • Writing biographies (life stories) for a long time had been a male hegemonic project-writing the lives of great (white) men. Ever since Plutarch and Sueton composed their vitae of the greats of classical antiquity, to the medieval obsession with the hagiographies of holy men (and a few women) and saints, Vasari's lives of great Renaissance artists, down to the French encyclopedists, Dr. Johnson and Lytton Strachey, as well as Ranke and Droysen the genre of biographical writing ("the representation of self " or "the reconstruction of a human life") has become increasingly more refined. In the twentieth century male predominance has become contested and the (collective) lives of women, minorities and ordinary people are now the focus of biographical writing. This volume of Contemporary Austrian Studies offers a cross section of Austrian lives and biographical approaches to recent Austrian history. Here are what may be called traditional biographies of leading political figures through the twentieth century. We also suggest that the intellectual biographies (lives of the mind) of thinkers and professionals are fertile soil for biographical study. Moreover, the prosopographic study of common folks in the Austrian population lifts these lives from the dark matter of anonymous masses and gives rich insights into the lives ordinary Austrians have been leading.

  • In the past quarter century we have moved from the Cold War to the Post-Cold War era in Austria, Europe and the world at large. Yet relatively little assessment is available what the change from the Cold War to the Post-Cold War era signaled for Austria's position in the world. Austrian foreign policy went through sea changes. The country lost its exposed Cold War geopolitical location on the margins of Western Europe along the iron curtain. With the removal of the iron curtain Austria moved back into its central location in Europe and rebuilt her long-standing traditional relations with neighbors to the East and South. Austria joined the European Union in 1995 and thus further "Westernized." Its policy of neutrality-so central to its foreign policy during the Cold War-largely eroded during the past quarter century, even though pro forma and for reasons of identity, the country holds on to its neutral position. Austrian failed to join NATO and gained the reputation of a "security free rider."

  • After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Austria transformed itself from an empire to a small Central European country. Formerly an important player in international affairs, the new republic was quickly sidelined by the European concert of powers. The enormous losses of territory and population in Austria's post-Habsburg state of existence, however, did not result in a political, economic, cultural, and intellectual black hole. The essays in the twentieth anniversary volume of Contemporary Austrian Studies argue that the small Austrian nation found its place in the global arena of the twentieth century and made a mark both on Europe and the world. Be it Freudian psychoanalysis, the "fin-de-siècle" Vienna culture of modernism, Austro-Marxist thought, or the Austrian School of Economics, Austrian hinkers and ideas were still wielding a notable impact on the world. Alongside these cultural and intellectual dimensions, Vienna remained the Austrian capital and reasserted its strong position in Central European and international business and finance. Innovative Austrian companies are operating all over the globe. This volume also examines how the globalizing world of the twentieth century has impacted Austrian demography, society, and political life. Austria's place in the contemporary world is increasingly determined by the forces of the European integration process. European Union membership brings about convergence and a regional orientation with ramifications for Austria's global role. Austria emerges in the essays of this volume as a highly globalized country with an economy, society, and political culture deeply grounded in Europe. The globalization of Austria, it appears, turns out to be in many instances an "Europeanization".

  • After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Austria transformed itself from an empire to a small Central European country. Formerly an important player in international affairs, the new republic was quickly sidelined by the European concert of powers. The enormous losses of territory and population in Austria's post-Habsburg state of existence, however, did not result in a political, economic, cultural, and intellectual black hole. The essays in the twentieth anniversary volume of Contemporary Austrian Studies argue that the small Austrian nation found its place in the global arena of the twentieth century and made a mark both on Europe and the world. Be it Freudian psychoanalysis, the "fin-de-siècle" Vienna culture of modernism, Austro-Marxist thought, or the Austrian School of Economics, Austrian hinkers and ideas were still wielding a notable impact on the world. Alongside these cultural and intellectual dimensions, Vienna remained the Austrian capital and reasserted its strong position in Central European and international business and finance. Innovative Austrian companies are operating all over the globe. This volume also examines how the globalizing world of the twentieth century has impacted Austrian demography, society, and political life. Austria's place in the contemporary world is increasingly determined by the forces of the European integration process. European Union membership brings about convergence and a regional orientation with ramifications for Austria's global role. Austria emerges in the essays of this volume as a highly globalized country with an economy, society, and political culture deeply grounded in Europe. The globalization of Austria, it appears, turns out to be in many instances an "Europeanization."

  • Wolfgang Schüssel was a dominating actor in the Austrian political arena over a period of twenty years. He served as minister of economics (1989-1995), and vice chancellor and foreign minister (1995-2000) in ÖVP/SPÖ grand coalition governments. As chairman of the ÖVP (1995-2007), he brought his conservative party out of the political wilderness of opposition and playing junior partner in coalitions with the SPÖ. He dominated Austrian politics as chancellor (2000-2007) in a small coalition with Jörg Haider's controversial aggressively nationalist FPÖ. Schüssel tried to domesticate the Freedomites by holding them on a tight leash in his coalition government. He needed the FPÖ to accomplish his neoliberal economic and social reform agenda, while at the same time the FPÖ undermined Schüssel's EU policies. The essays in this volume argue that Schüssel's political record and legacy are ambiguous. With a confrontational style of governance he unleashed big reforms such as trimming the hidebound pension system and giving more autonomy to higher education. In the process he undermined Austria's consensual social partnership. His record of supporting the European Union agenda is ambivalent. Austrian public opinion in support of the EU declined precipitously. He was a superb tactician and negotiator yet failed to achieve broad popular acceptance for his ambitious reforms. His imprint on Austrian history is so significant that many of the authors of the essays in this volume call it "the Schüssel era."

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