Language Politics and Horizontal Governance

CARDINAL, LINDA: art6] (2007), «~Language Politics and Horizontal Governance~», International Journal of Sociology of Language, p.89-107.This article discusses Canada’s governance of official language minorities since the 1990s. More specifically, it examines the growing participation of official language minority groups in the governance of policy initiatives in sectors such as community development, culture, and economic development. It argues that horizontal governance is transforming our understanding of language planning, but also that official language minorities believe they need to maintain political pressure on the Canadian government for more positive measures towards their empowerment. In other words, horizontal governance is no substitute for language politics. Firstly, the article reviews recent debates on the politics and governance of identity-based policies such as language policies. Secondly, it provides information on Canada’s official language policy and on the context which led to development of a new governance of official language minorities. Thirdly, it discusses results from a series of studies which help understand the resistance of official language minorities towards horizontal governance. In conclusion, the article argues for more research on the impact of horizontal governance on language planning.

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