A fortuitous confluence of Austrian anniversaries provides the impetus for a prominent Austrian of international stature to reflect on Austrian history of the 20th century. This illustrates very clearly the extent to which the post-war Second Republic has been a success story without parallel, encompassing economic prosperity, social change and progress in welfare services. On all sides, the world has been experiencing dramatic change. Geopolitical upheaval, strategic realignment and radical alterations to economic systems, have all been part of the immense changes the century has given rise to. At the dawn of the 21st century, a Europe in-the-making is located precariously between an American superpower on the one hand, and ambitious and dynamically growing Asian economic-giants on the other. How does the world appear today? What is the status of Europe? Is there any meaningful international role a small country such as Austria can perform? These are some of the questions addressed by Dr. Androsch when considering the opportunities and responsibilities facing both Austria, and Europe, in a changing world order.
Dr. Hannes Androsch was born in Vienna, Austria in 1938. In the 1970s and 1980s he was one of the foremost politicians in the country, serving in successive Bruno Kreisky administrations as finance minister and vice-chancellor. After leaving politics, he served as general director of the Creditanstalt-Bankverein and as a consultant with the World Bank. Today, Dr. Androsch is holding a range of industrial enterprises, in addition to his activities in scientific and cultural institutions. Dr. Androsch is widely sought after for his views on important financial, economic and political events in Europe and is a regular contributor of articles and commentaries to a wide range of journals and periodicals.