Sauer, Birgit. “Radical right populist debates on female Muslim body-coverings in Austria. between biopolitics and necropolitics.” Identities (2022): 1-19.
The Austrian Parliament has passed three laws since 2018 that prohibit wearing Muslim body-coverings in public. This departure from a formerly tolerant approach is an outcome of ongoing anti-Muslim campaigns by the radical-right populist Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). The party has been mobilising since the mid-1980s through the creation of two antagonisms: ‘the elite’ and second against ‘Others’ – mainly migrants. Since the turn of the century, this anti-migrant mobilisation has targeted the intersection of gender and religion by focusing on veiled Muslim women. Targeting this intersection of gender and religion, the article applies a critical frame analysis of 19 FPÖ documents from 2006 to 2020 on restrictive rulings about female Muslim body-covering. It finds that Austrian radical right populist campaigns emphasise the female body and construct the Austrian ‘people’ (biopolitics), while necropower constructs Muslim migrants as non-belonging, excludable, and erasable.