The Corona Protests Research Workshop is an interdisciplinary cooperation project of the University of Vienna and the Sigmund Freud University with the aim of analysing the movements and protests that have arisen in connection with the measures to contain the pandemic as well as their forms of organisation. 

The pandemic itself, but also the measures implemented by the political side to combat Covid-19, represent a new situation and challenge for many people as well as for society as a whole. The declaration of a pandemic arouses great uncertainty and fear in many places and brings issues such as the risk of infection and job loss to the fore. Moreover, during this time, especially due to the two lockdowns, social and individual responsibility in the area of tension between health, economy and personal freedom are being negotiated politically and in the media as well as in everyday life.

However, the political measures are not shared and supported by everyone. A part of society sees them as an unlawful restriction of the population’s freedom of action, doubts the state and scientifically communicated expertise, or builds its own channels for knowledge transfer.

If you are interested in talking to us about your motivations in an interview, or if you have any other questions about our project, please contact

Project lead

  • Markus Brunner (Social psychologist and sociologist, Sigmund Freud University)
  • Antje Daniel (Protest researcher, Institute for International Development, University of Vienna)
  • Florian Knasmüller (Social psychologist, Sigmund Freud University)

Former members:


The research workshop addresses these issues and analyses the “politics of the street” against the political measures. Using a mixed-methods approach, the current protests, actions and networks are investigated. This approach works with both quantitative and qualitative social science methods, i.e. surveys, documents, observations and interviews.

Question(s) and hypotheses

The research network will use quantitative and qualitative data to investigate questions about 1) the demographic composition of the protests and 2) the political attitudes of the protesters. Furthermore, 3) forms of protest and the symbolic representation at the demonstrations as well as 4) the psychological functions of protest participation will be investigated.

Project duration

11/2020 – 07/2024


Forschungswerkstatt Corona-Proteste (2021). Corona-Protest-Report. Narrative – Motive – Einstellungen.

Forschungswerkstatt Corona-Proteste. (2023). Corona-Protest-Report II: Eine Folgeuntersuchung.

Daniel, A., Brunner, M., & Knasmüller, F. (2023). Does Gender Play a Role? A Gendered Frame Analysis of the Pandemic Skeptic Protests in Austria. German Politics and Society, 41(2), 61–79. 10.3167/gps.2023.410204

Brunner, M., Daniel, A., Knasmüller, F., Maile, F., & Von Zieglauer, F. (2023). Frauen bei den Corona-Protesten. Why do they care?. In U. Repnik, D. Schulz-Zak, & K. Hametner (Hrsg.), Frauengesundheit und Pandemie. Wie weiter? (S. 17-20). Wien: Stadt Wien.

Knasmüller, F., Brunner, M., & Daniel, A. (2024). Die Corona-Proteste in Österreich. Reflexionen zu den Nachwehen einer autoritären Revolte. Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen, 37(1), 6-16. doi: 10.1515/fjsb-2024-0002