Linguistic accommodations and electoral participation
A comparative analysis
The purpose of this study was to advance the understanding of the influence geo-political events and legislation can have on the accommodation of minority language voters. Particularly, this study focused on the effects of (1) the Voting Rights Act of 1965 on minority language voters in the USA, and (2) World War I on minority language voters in Austria. We use a most similar systems design with our case studies. The results from the most similar systems design suggest that while both the USA and Austria have similar constitutional structures, are stable democracies, and have laws enacted to help protect the rights of minority language speakers (the VRA of 1965 in the USA, and Art. 8 of the Austrian State Treaty of 1955), they have developed two different approaches to linguistic accommodation for minority language speakers at elections. This study has helped to further the researchers’ understanding of the influence geo-political events and legislation can have on the accommodation of minority language voters.
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