"Issues with Europe"
"A Network analysis of the German-speaking Alpine Conservation Movement (1975-2005)

"Issues with Europe: A Network analysis of the German-speaking Alpine Conservation Movement (1975-2005)" examined European Alpine transit policy with a comparative focus on Austria and Switzerland between the 1970s and the 2000s. The project was carried out by the Universities of Innsbruck, Basel and Munich and was divided into three sub-projects. Sub-project A (Munich) analysed how the conflicts between transport policy and Alpine protection were managed at the European level, focusing in particular on the European Union and the Council of Europe. Sub-projects B and C focused on regional and national institutions as well as on regional and transnational networks of the Alpine protection movement. Geographically, sub-project B (Innsbruck) dealt with the debates on Alpine transit at the Brenner Pass against the background of Austria's joining the EU in 1995. Sub-project C (Basel) examined the debates on Alpine transit at the Gotthard, especially in the context of the so-called "Alpine Initiative", which in 1994 set a restrictive transport policy framework and left a lasting mark on Swiss-EU relations.

The three case studies offered the opportunity to write a transnational history of the Alpine protection movement and at the same time opened up new perspectives on Europeanisation. The project as a whole focused on how and to what extent the Alpine protection movement was able to influence European policy decisions at national and supranational level. It turned out that the lines of argumentation of the activists in Austria and Switzerland hardly differed. In both countries, the opponents of transit inscribed themselves in the European environmental discourse and attributed an ecological pioneering role to the Alpine region. The EU played an important and at the same time ambivalent role. As a discursive point of reference, it was constructed as the abstract, distant "other" in contrast to the tangible "own". At the same time, the Alpine space only established itself as a political entity within the framework of European integration. The institutions of the EU were in turn an important addressee for the transit opponents. The activists saw in the EU both the origin of the problems and the authority within which they had to be solved. Austria's joining the EU in 1995 changed surprisingly little, as the activists in Tyrol had already been addressing their protests to the EU since the end of the 1980s and their forms of expression remained determined by the national characteristics of the respective political systems.


Gefördert durch

DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

FWF Der Wissenschaftsfonds

SNF - Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung


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