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“Austria as it is.” Portraits of the Second Republic


Admission requirements

There are no specific admission requirements


This lecture continues a long and controversial tradition of presenting “Austria as it is”: It will not give a linear account of the history of the “Second Republic”, but sketch a variety of perspectives on how Austrian society and culture have developed from World War II to the present. Topics to explore include: the trauma of war and strategies to overcome it; the development of tourism, regionalism and the cult of landscape; migration and xenophobia; Catholicism and its impact on everyday life et cetera. A historical and sociological introduction will highlight the significance of each topic for Austrian society and the changes since World War II. Examples from literature, theatre, film and popular culture illustrate the topics, at the same time reaffirming and contesting a more general discourse of what is supposedly “typically Austrian”.

Course objectives

General learning objectives
The student can:

    1. organise and use relatively large amounts of information
    1. reflect critically on knowledge and understanding as presented in academic literature

Learning objectives, pertaining to the specialisation

    1. The student has knowledge of the specialisation General History, more specifically of the place of European history from 1500 in a worldwide perspective; with a focus on the development and role of political institutions;

Learning objectives, pertaining to this specific lecture series
The student has acquired:

    1. an understanding of questions concerning Austrian identity and the specifics of the country in a western-European and a central-European context;
    1. knowledge of recent European trends (globalization, regionalization, crisis of the traditional political-party system, migration…) and their impact in Austria;
    1. insights into the interdependence of historical heritage, political and economical organization, culture and self-perception.


See Rooster Geschiedenis (in Dutch)

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

Course Load

Total course load: 5 EC x 28 hrs = 140 hours

  • Amount of lectures: 26 hours

  • Assignments: Various short texts to prepare specific topics for discussion: 39 hours

  • Literature: 45 hours reading + 30 hours studying-preparation for the exam

Assessment method

The course will be assessed through two subtests:

  • Midterm examination: written examination.

  • Final examination: written examination.

Midterm examination: 40 %
Final examination: 60 %

The final mark for the course is establised by determination of the weighted average.

Sudents are allowed to take again those subtests that were marked insufficient. The resit exam will take place on one single resit, at which both subtests are offered. For this resit three hours will be reserved, so that students will be able to retake both subtests, if necessary.
Please note that students can only take a resit when their final grade is insufficient. Subtests that were marked sufficient cannot be retaken.


In this course Blackboard is used for: – announcements about the course; – communication between professor and students.

Reading list

Oliver Rathkolb, The Paradoxical Republic: Austria 1945-2005) (New York, Oxford 2014 ) (316 p.) (German: Oliver Rathkolb, Die paradoxe Republik. Österreich 1945 bis 2015 (Wien 2015) (495p.)
Additional literature will be announced when the course starts.


Via uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Dr. Christian Leitgeb