Sinn von Sein. Foreign Policy, Memory and Changing Imaginaries and Practices of Neutrality in the Second Republic


  • Cornelia Baciu University of Copenhagen Department of Political Science Center for Military Studies Øster Farimagsgade 5 1353 København K



This article unpacks the meaning of permanent neutrality in Austrian foreign policy from a collective memory perspective understood as remembrance of the past and expression of the country’s ontological condition (Sinn von Sein). I argue, first, that while neutrality has remained formally a backbone of foreign and security policy, in practice, it changed its meaning to incorporate a more active role in multilateral institutions. Second, I demonstrate how this can be related to collective memory and changing imaginaries and role conceptions, showing how Austria’s Sonderweg emerges from a normative global ambition to contribute to a more positive understanding of order.