Book notice: Linguistic Minorities in Democratic Context

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Wed Dec 19 14:53:23 UTC 2007

Linguistic Minorities in Democratic Context
Published: 2007
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Book URL:

Author: Colin Williams

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.

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