Language Policy

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 395–411 | Cite as

Democratic theory and the challenge of linguistic diversity

Original Paper

Abstract

This essay explores the relationship between democratic political theory and the reality of linguistic diversity in contemporary political communities. After suggesting a distinction between “liberal” and “participatory” democratic theories, and asserting that there have been fruitful explorations of linguistic diversity in relation to the former, the essay claims that there has been a virtual absence of critical examination of the implications of linguistic diversity for participatory democracy. The essay explores the implications of “ontological multilingualism” for three purported advantages of participatory democracy: the legitimation advantage, the common good advantage, and the human flourishing advantage. After examining challenges to the accommodation of linguistic diversity by participatory democracies, the essay concludes with suggestive comments on how these challenges might best be approached.

Keywords

Democratic theory Linguistic diversity Ontological multilingualism 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson, B. (1991). Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism (revised edition). New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, E. (2010). The imperative of integration. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Arendt, H. (1963). On revolution. New York: Viking Press.Google Scholar
  4. Barber, B. R. (1984). Strong democracy: Participatory politics for a new age. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  5. Benhabib, S. (Ed.). (1996). Democracy and difference: Contesting the boundaries of the political. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Benhabib, S. (2002). The claims of culture: Equality and diversity in the global era. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Carens, J. (2000). Culture, citizenship, and: A contextual exploration of justice as evenhandedness. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cervatiuc, A., & Ricento, T. (2012). Curriculum meta-orientations in the language instruction for newcomers to Canada program. The Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 24(2), 17–31.Google Scholar
  9. Cohen, J. (1989). Deliberation and democratic legitimacy. In A. Hamlin & P. Pettit (Eds.), The good polit (pp. 17–34). London: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  10. Connolly, W. E. (1991). Identity/difference: Democratic negotiations of political paradox. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Connolly, W. E. (1995). The ethos of pluralization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  12. Dahl, R. A. (1970). After the revolution. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Del Valle, S. (2003). Language rights and the law in the United States: Finding our voices. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.Google Scholar
  14. Dryzek, J. (1990). Discursive democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Euben, J. P. (2007). Fugitive theory. Theory & Event, 10(1), 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ferguson, M. L. (2012). Sharing democracy. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Habermas, J., & Seidman, S. (1989). Jurgen Habermas on society and politics: A reader. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  18. Honig, B. (1993). Political theory and the displacement of politics. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Honig, B. (2003). Democracy and the foreigner. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Kloss, H. (1977). The American bilingual tradition. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  21. Kymlicka, W. (1989). Liberalism, community, and culture. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Kymlicka, W. (1995). Multicultural citizenship: A liberal theory of minority rights. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Kymlicka, W. (2001). Politics in the vernacular: Nationalism, multiculturalism, and citizenship. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kymlicka, W., & Patten, A. (Eds.). (2003). Language rights and political theory. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Lummis, C. D. (1997). Radical democracy. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Meyer v. State of Nebraska. 1923. 262 U.S. 390.Google Scholar
  27. Ober, J. (2008). Democracy and knowledge: Innovation and learning in classical Athens. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Ostler, N. (2010). The last lingua franca: English until the return of Babel. New York: Walker Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  29. Parekh, B. (2008). A new politics of identity: Political principles for an interdependent world. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  30. Patten, A. (2009). Survey article: The justification of language minority rights. Journal of Political Philosophy, 17(1), 102–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Putnam, R. D. (2007). E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and community in the twenty-first century: The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture. Scandinavian Political Studies, 30(2), 137–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rawls, J. (1971). A theory of justice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Rawls, J. (1993). Political liberalism. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Rodriguez, C. (2001). Accomodating linguistic difference: Toward a comprehensive theory of language rights in the United States. Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, 36, 133–222.Google Scholar
  35. Sandel, M. (1998). Liberalism and the limits of justice. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schaar, J. H. (1981). Legitimacy in the modern state. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  37. Schmidt, R, Sr. (2000). Language policy and identity politics in the United States. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Smith, R. (2003). Stories of peoplehood: The politics and morals of political membership. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Taylor, C., & Gutmann, A. (1992). Multiculturalism and ‘The politics of recognition’. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Tussman, J. (1960). Obligation and the body politic. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Walzer, M. (1984). Spheres of justice: A defense of pluralism and equality. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  42. Wardhaugh, R. (1987). Languages in competition: Dominance, diversity, and decline. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  43. Wolff, R. P. (1970). In defense of anarchism. New York: Harper Torchbooks.Google Scholar
  44. Wolin, S. (1996). Fugitive democracy. In S. Benhabib (Ed.), Democracy and difference: Contesting the boundaries of the political (pp. 31–45). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Wolin, S. (2010). Democracy incorporated: Managed democracy and the spectre of inverted totalitarianism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Young, I. M. (1990). Justice and the politics of difference. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Young, I. M. (1996). Communication and the other: Beyond deliberative democracy. In S. Benhabib (Ed.), Democracy and difference: Contesting the boundaries of the political (pp. 120–136). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceCalifornia State UniversityLong BeachUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceDavidson CollegeDavidsonUSA

Personalised recommendations