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Vol. 2: Nation-Building, Ethnicity and Language Politics in Transition Countries
Farimah Daftary and Francois Grin
ISBN 10:
Release Date:

In the wake of the momentous geopolitical changes of 1989, countries in Central and Eastern Europe, former Soviet republics and constituent states of the Russian Federation have engaged in various forms of nation-building or re-building. From the very beginning, language diversity has played a crucial part in this process.

This volume aims to take stock of the experience of the countries concerned in dealing with linguistic diversity. Its emphasis is on the interplay between, on the one hand, the politics of language, namely, the way in which internal power struggles and minority-majority relations crystallize around language and, on the other hand, the development of language legislation codifying the respective status of the different languages, against the backdrop of complex historical, ethnic and sociolinguistic realities.

The opening chapter, by Will Kymlicka and François Grin, discusses the ways in which these issues are linked to the main discourses about state intervention in language matters, namely, the discourse of rights and the policy analysis approach. The nine case studies in the book, from the high-visibility cases of the Baltic States and of Central and East European States, to much less known language policy developments in Armenia or Tatarstan, provide in-depth analyses illustrating the remarkable range of language politics and language policy in times of change. The book also includes the case of a stateless people, the Roma, and the politicization of the debate on the standardization of Romanes.


Part I. One State - One Language?
The 1999 Slovak Minority Language Law: Internal or External Politics?
Language Battles in the Baltic States: From 1989 into 2002
Identities and Language Politics in Ukraine: The Challenges of Nation-State Building

Part II. Tutular Language Promotion and Bilingualism
Language Policy in the Republic of Armenia in the Transitional Period
The Politics of Language Reform and Bilingualism in Tatarstan
Kalmykia: Language Promotion against all Odds

Part III. Identity, Differentiation and Unification
Language Issues in the Context of Slovenian Smallness
Ethnicity, Language and Transition Politics in Romania: The Hungarian Minority in Context
Language Corpus and Language Politics: The Case of the Standardization of Romani

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