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28 Nov 2007
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£76.00
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9781403987211
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25 Oct 2013
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£21.99
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9781137355836
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

Linguistic Minorities in Democratic Context blends a discussion of the role of language minorities in politics with a detailed understanding of applied language policy in a variety of contexts ranging from Quebec, the Basque Country and Wales to Gaelic Scotland and Northern Ireland. Colin Williams discusses the controversial and contemporary issues of minority rights and language protection, the policies of the state in privileging powerful majorities, the new opportunities and challenges ushered in by regional-level devolution in Europe and the influence which globalization has on language competition and survival. He argues that after centuries of discrimination, well placed linguistic minorities are in positions of power and influence and must devise new strategies and justification to cope with the demands of responsible government. His analysis provides a fresh interpretation of the role of minorities within plurinational states and poses difficult questions for the framers of policies which seek to promote unity in diversity in both Europe and North America.


Description

Linguistic Minorities in Democratic Context blends a discussion of the role of language minorities in politics with a detailed understanding of applied language policy in a variety of contexts ranging from Quebec, the Basque Country and Wales to Gaelic Scotland and Northern Ireland. Colin Williams discusses the controversial and contemporary issues of minority rights and language protection, the policies of the state in privileging powerful majorities, the new opportunities and challenges ushered in by regional-level devolution in Europe and the influence which globalization has on language competition and survival. He argues that after centuries of discrimination, well placed linguistic minorities are in positions of power and influence and must devise new strategies and justification to cope with the demands of responsible government. His analysis provides a fresh interpretation of the role of minorities within plurinational states and poses difficult questions for the framers of policies which seek to promote unity in diversity in both Europe and North America.


Reviews

'Linguistic Minorities in Democratic Context will undoubtedly quickly become a classic in language policy literature. It presents a finely-balanced account of principles in language management, and shows how these have worked out in the major cases of the Celtic languages, the Spanish autonomous regions, and Canada.  The wealth of detail of legislative and bureaucratic activities balances the sensitive analysis of competing theories, and supports Williams' argument for a holistic approach to understanding sociolinguistic ecology.' – Bernard Spolsky, Bar-Ilan University, Israel 
 

'Colin Williams' book is an impressive treatment of the question of language and nation, the product of thorough scholarship and thought. Its interdisciplinary coverage encompasses linguistics, geography, political theory and institutional design. It will be an important reference point for debates about small nations and cultures in a globalizing world.' - Michael Keating, Professor of Regional Studies, European University Institute, Florence, Italy


Contents

List of Tables and Figures
Acknowledgements
Introduction: Democratic Inclusion for the One and the Many
The Nationalist Inheritance in a Globalizing World
Democratic Impulses and Social Justice
Language Policy and Planning Issues in Multicultural Societies
Enhancing Linguistic Diversity in Europe: Cross-Cutting Themes
Celtic Language Regimes and the Basis for Deliberation
Welsh Language Policy and the Logic of Legislative Devolution
Recognition and National Justice for Quebes: A Canadian Conundrum Revisited
The Limits to Freedom
Appendix
Bibliography
Index


Authors

COLIN H. WILLIAMS is Research Professor in the School of Welsh, Cardiff University, UK and holds Honorary Professorships at the University of Aberdeen, University of the Highlands and Islands, UK and Western Ontario. He is a member of the Welsh Language Board. His previous publications include Called Unto Liberty and as editor Language Revitalization and Language and Governance.