Ethnolinguistic Mobilizations in Europe: An Introduction

Jean-Baptiste Harguindeguy, Alistair Cole

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The state language is usually a regional language that historically was able to impose itself on the other ones. Language currently constitutes a very sensitive nexus between the concepts of territory and community. Ethnolinguistic mobilizations have occurred in very different contexts, and their interpretation needs to take into account varying configurations and conditions of success. By using the concept of 'ethnolinguistic', this chapter aims to study the political uses of languages spoken in different regions of Europe. Political theorists working on theories of justice have argued strongly that languages are not merely instruments used to lower the transaction costs of social interactions, but that they can also be desired for their intrinsic value. Mobilizing different types of explanatory variable (namely centre-periphery relations, the existence of strong local advocacy coalitions and political opportunity structures), the chapter demonstrates how the politicization of ethnolinguistic issues has followed three different institutional paths even in the restricted state setting of republican France.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Politics of Ethnolinguistic Mobilization in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationLanguage Matters
EditorsAlistair Cole, Jean-Baptiste Harguindéguy
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781315085579
ISBN (Print)9780415723404, 9781138383166
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2013


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