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Law and Politics

Research Projects and teaching dealing with the institutionalization of diversity are dedicated to an approach, which combines law and politics. Included are also intiviatives of political education in theory and practice.


2020 How liberal democracies emerge and fail (SE)

Western liberal democracies are currently facing numerous challenges: Asylum, migration and financial crises, erosion of classic party landscapes, terror, constitutional reforms and targeted restructuring of democratic institutions according to autocratic patterns. If the foundations of the democratic system are questioned by political actors themselves, there is talk of a „dying democracies“ (e.g. Levitsky/Ziblatt, 2018). In order to warn against a slow transformation into tyranny (e.g. Snyder, 2017), researchers sometimes draw lessons from the failure of Central European democracies in the interwar period or emphasize the central danger of identity politics for democracy - a politics based on belonging to national, ethnic, religious, racial or other defined groups that are exclusively interpreted and positioned against the others (e.g. Fukuyama, 2018). But what is the essence of a liberal democracy? How did it devolop in Austria? Is the Austrian democracy able to meet current threats? The seminar analyses the gradual development towards a liberal democracy in Austria and „resilience“ of the democratic legal system and its institutions.

2019 Law and Politics of Minority Protection (SE)

The seminar offers insights into the dynamics of (inter-)national conflicts with special focus on the protection of national minorities. Theories concerning identity and nationalism are considered to explore the interplay of law and politics. It is a necessary basis for understanding and meeting the challenges of minority protection. In this regard, the function of law as instrument for conflict resolution/transformation will be explored as well as root and proximate causes of conflicts. Additionally, the seminar will enable participants to develop and answer interdisciplinary research question between law and politics by focusing on national and international case studies regarding issues of minority protection.


together|skupno 2020

From 2017-2020 Conferences will deal with issues of minority protection, memory politics and conflict resolution with regard to the minority-majority situation in bilingual Carinthia in comparison with other case studies from all over Europe and with regard to the upcoming 100th anniversary of the "Carinthian plebiscite" after World War One in 1920.

Conferences | Konference


2017: "New" and "old" Minorities | »Stare« in »nove« manjšine

2018: Borders | Meje 

2019: Minorities - Majorities - Differences - Communalities | Večine - manjšine - različnosti - skupne točke 

2020: Dialogue and Identity | Dialog in identiteta


Information and Program|informacije in program 2017 (German and Slovenian).


Plattform Political Education

The Plattform of the Carinthian local parliament provides texts and materials to be used in schools. It establishes a network between experts, teachers and local legislation to foster political, intercultural and peace education with a specific focus on participation and diversity.  

Available Articles (Download)

Jürgen Pirker, Der Geist der Geschichte(n). Der 10. Oktober im historischen Gedächtnis und in der politischen Bildung, Bulletin des Geschichtsvereins für Kärnten, 2/2018 (Memory Politics in Carinthia). Pdf-Version.

Jürgen Pirker und Linda Hofmeister, Volksgruppenfrage(n) in Kärnten, Plattform Politische Bildung, 2016. (Minority Issues in Carinthia). Pdf-Version.

Jürgen Pirker und Linda Hofmeister, "Kärnten is lei ans" - Vielfalt im Bundesland und darüber hinaus, Plattform Politische Bildung, 2016. (Diversity in the Land and beyond). Pdf-Version.

Jürgen Pirker und Linda Hofmeister, "Ich sehe den Menschen und urteile nach seiner Persönlichkeit, nicht nach seiner Kultur." - Reflexionen von Jugendlichen zu Kärnten und Slowenien - zwischen Heimat, Nation und Europa, in: Karl Anderwald/ Peter Filzmeier/ Karl Hren (Hrsg), Kärntner Jahrbuch für Politik 2015, 2015. (Reflections of Young People on Carinthia and Slovenia - between Homeland, Nation and Europe). Pdf-Version.

Jürgen Pirker, Visionen für Kärnten: "Neue Wege 2020/Nove poti 2020" - Ergebnisse einer Initiative zu Verständigung und politischer Bildung in: Karl Anderwald/Peter Filzmaier/Karl Hren (Hrsg.), Kärntner Jahrbuch für Politik 2014, 2014. (Outcomes of an Initiative for Political Education). Pdf-Version.

Jürgen Pirker, Minderheiten zwischen Recht und Politik - am Beispiel des Kärntner Ortstafelstreits. Anmerkungen zur wechselseitigen Bereicherung von Rechts- und Politikwissenschaft in: Hauser, Werner/Thomasser, Andreas (Hrsg.), Bildung, Wissenschaft, Politik. Instrumente zur Gestaltung der Gesellschaft, Böhlau, Wien/Köln/Graz, 2014. (Minorities between Law and Politics). google-books.

Ass.-Prof. MMag. DDr.

Jürgen Pirker

Institute for Public Law and Political Science

Phone:+43 316 380 - 7412

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