[lg policy] bibitem: Language Policy and Historical Injustice

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 26 14:55:34 UTC 2010

Language Policy and Historical Injustice

Huw Lewis
Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University

APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper


In recent years, we have seen the emergence of a body of normative
literature which focuses on language policy and language rights. Thus
far, however, this literature has had relatively little to say about
historical injustice, and in particular, how a legacy of past
linguistic wrongs should influence our thinking regarding what
fairness and justice require in terms of present-day language
policies. Historical injustice in relation to language is something
that is acknowledged and referred to from time to time by certain
authors. However, as far as I am aware, there has been no systematic
attempt to asses whether a legacy of historical injustice should have
any implications for the nature and form of present-day language
polices. This is surprising, after all historical research shows that
various acts of injustice have blighted the history of many language
communities and that these acts have contributed substantially to the
minority and marginalized social position of certain languages. This
paper will seek to fill this important gap in the literature. It will
contend that a legacy of historical injustice should influence our
thinking regarding what justice requires in relation to present-day
language policies, and that as a result, recent normative discussions
should be refined and broadened accordingly. will be provided by

Lewis, Huw, Language Policy and Historical Injustice (2010). APSA 2010
Annual Meeting Paper.

Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1657407

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