Looking for "strong leaders": Citizenship education needed


Study on "Historical Consciousness and authoritarian attitudes in Austria"

Results of the study "Historical Consciousness and authoritarian attitudes in Austria" have been presented on May 7, 2014, by Oliver Rathkolb (Institut für Zeitgeschichte, University of Vienna), Günther Ogris and Martina Zandonella (SORA),  Kurt Scholz and Herwig Hösele  (Zukunftsfonds of the Republic of Austria). .

This representative study among 1.015 interviewees has been initatived by Oliver Rathkolb and carried out by SORA in the framework of a research project funded by the Zukunftsfonds.

Democracy enjoys broad support as "best form of government"

85% of respondents agreed (very much or rather) that democracy is the best form of government even if it may bring about problems. 

Looking for "strong leaders"

On the other hand, 29% of respondents said one should have a strong leader that does not need to care about elections and the Parliament. Education helps: Resopndents with high-school degree were less likely to agree than respondents without. 

Historical consciousness and citizenship education needed

A crucial result of the research project is that democracy needs historical consciousness and investments in citizenship education.

The researchers involved and the representatives of the Zukunftsfonds hence call for efforts to strengthen these iniatiatives at all levels.

  • Read more: "Authoritarianism, History and Democratic Dispositions in Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland", edited by Oliver Rathkolb and Günter Ogris, Studienverlag 2010.