Democracy in Crisis: How Austria's Democracy Index Reveals Alarming Trends

Lifestyle & TravelCulture ♦ Published: October 26, 2023; 23:43 ♦ (Vindobona)

In recent years, democracy in Austria seemed to be on a good path. But the current Democracy Index raises eyebrows: The state of the democratic infrastructure is stagnating, and in some areas, there has even been regression. There is particular cause for concern in the areas of fundamental rights and the media landscape. But why is that and what can be done to counteract it?

After slight improvements in recent years, this year's Democracy Index for Austria shows a trend reversal. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Gryffindor, CC BY-SA 3.0 (

According to Luise Wernisch-Liebich of the Democracy Index Association, liberal democracy is only strong if it has a diverse and critical media landscape and consistently enforces fundamental rights. However, it is precisely in these areas that Austria shows weaknesses. The index score for the "media" pillar fell by 7.1 percentage points to 60.2 percent last year. In addition, there…