Politics and society

Politics and society

Over 40 years of policy research at INTEGRAL and SINUS

When the SINUS study on right-wing extremist attitudes among Germans, commissioned by the Federal Chancellery, received a great deal of media attention in 1981, SINUS political research became known to a broader public for the first time. Since its founding, the Institute has studied the political perceptions of the population internationally.

INTEGRAL was founded in 1987 and has been intensively involved with the climate of opinion in Austria and developments in political attitudes from the very beginning..

In particular, it is the Sinus-Milieus that can be used to conclusively analyse and interpret social developments and political attitudes. The Sinus-Milieus target group model has been in use in Austria since 2001. Since then numerous studies have been carried out on the basis of this target group understanding, including on the following topics:

  • Milieu-specific voting behavior
  • Strategy development for reaching the middle-class
  • Populism
  • Conspiracy theories
  • Environmental and nature awareness
  • NGOs and social movements
  • Environmental policy attitudes
  • Migration
  • Urban development and social cohesion
  • Everyday esthetics and political culture

The current political situation

Disenchantment with politics and susceptibility to populist narratives have a long tradition in Austria. The Sinus-Milieus can be used to describe those social groups that are particularly susceptible to system-critical attitudes. This allows strategies to be developed for their political integration.

A differentiation of the often diffuse "centre" is particularly helpful here. In the Sinus-Milieu model, a distinction is made between the old centre of the system-critical Nostalgic Middle-Class and the modern, flexible Adaptive-Pragmatic Middle-Class. The latter vacillates between a nostalgia for the past and an orientation towards the future and is of great importance for achieving social majorities.

In terms of populist attitudes, these two middle-class milieus are still clearly differentiated: The "nostalgic cluster" (Nostalgic Middle-Class and Consumption-Oriented) has the strongest populist orientation, while the modern centre of the Adaptive-Pragmatics is on average.

We work with you to develop the optimum strategy for addressing and attracting your potential on the basis of our longtime and comprehensive social research.