19/06/2014 – RECODE Workshop #7 – The politics of multilingualism: linguistic governance, globalisation and Europeanisation

The politics of multilingualism: linguistic governance, globalisation and Europeanisation

Université de Genève, 19‒20 June 2014

Convenors: François Grin (Geneva, Switzerland), Peter A. Kraus (Augsburg, Germany)

One of the principal consequences of the socio-cultural and socio-political transformations which we label with terms such as globalisation and Europeanisation is a substantial alteration of the functions of different languages and their position with respect to one another. These effects are making themselves felt not only at a global scale and in regional arenas, but also at the national scale of state-level language policies, and at the local level of linguistic practices in multicultural neighborhoods. This raises unprecedented challenges for contemporary societies, which have to engage these more varied and pervasive manifestations of diversity. Meeting these societal challenges calls for the development of institutional responses that take account of the new politics of language and multilingualism. Although there is an abundance of literature on multilingualism and diversity in the modern world (particularly in contemporary Europe), relatively little has been done towards elaborating an integrative view that identifies the key social and political dimensions at hand, and proposes a systematic approach to policy development on this basis. In this workshop, we attempt to do precisely that, by charting some of this little-known terrain, emphasizing the need to be simultaneously relevant at the international, national and local levels.

The issues at hand are exceedingly vast, and the workshop, as well as the book publication envisaged on the basis of the workshop, is viewed as an initial step in what must develop into a long-term endeavour, accompanying projects variously supported by the European Science Foundation, the European Commission, or other funding bodies. For this initial step, we have identified three main topics:

·         Multilingualism and identity-building (complex diversity, new forms of multilingualism, bottom-up dynamics vis-à-vis Europeanization and globalization)

·         Emerging patterns of “global linguistic governance” (institutional responses to the tendencies described in the previous section, top-down dynamics, formal models combining bottom-up and top-down elements)

·         Linguistic hegemony, linguistic insecurity and linguistic justice (issues of power and domination involved with current practices of linguistic governance, normative implications)


The politics of multilingualism

Thursday, 19 June 2014

9.00 – 9.30

Welcome and introduction

•           Peter A. Kraus (Augsburg), François Grin (Geneva)


Multilingualism and identity-building

•          Virginie Mamadouh (Amsterdam), “Transient Linguistic Landscapes of Activism: Protesting against Austerity Policies in the Eurozone”

•          Linda Cardinal (Ottawa), “The state of multilingualism in Canada and its impact on language policy developments”

•           Rudi Janssens (Brussels), “The impact of mobility and migration on the identity-constructing policy in Brussels”

Discussant: Pasi Saukkonen (Helsinki)

General discussion


14.00 – 17.30

Multilingualism and identity-building (cont.)

•           Astrid von Busekist (Paris), “Bowling together. Some thoughts on a new lingua franca.”

•           Konstantin Zamyatin (Helsinki), “Russian language status planning and nation-building”

•           Peter A. Kraus (Augsburg), “From glossophagic hegemony to multilingual pluralism? Re-assessing the politics of linguistic identity in Europe”

•           László Marácz (Amsterdam), “Towards norm-driven linguistic diversity management in the context of globalization”

Discussant: André Liebich (Geneva)

General discussion

Friday, 20 June 2014

9.00 – 12.00

Emerging patterns of “global linguistic governance”

•           Robert Phillipson (Copenhagen), “English, the lingua nullius of global hegemony”

•           François Grin (Geneva), “Fashionable sociolinguistic constructs: Some implications for politics and policy”

•           Thomas Ricento (Calgary), “The Promise and the Pitfalls of Global English”

Discussant: Nenad Stojanović (Zurich)

General discussion


13.30 – 16.30

Linguistic hegemony, linguistic insecurity and linguistic justice

•          Helder de Schutter (Leuven), “Cosmopolitan Ownership of English”

•          Glyn Morgan (Syracuse/Turin), “English as Europe’s Lingua Franca: A Liberal-Democratic Perspective”

•         Federico Gobbo (Amsterdam/Turin), “Is the Calvet Language Barometer useful to measure linguistic justice?”

Discussant: Jean-Claude Barbier (Paris)

Concluding commentaries and further planning

A workshop sponsored by the ESF Research Networking Program RECODE
and the MIME (Mobility and Inclusion in a Multilingual Europe)-Project