Edited by Peter A. Kraus and François Grin
[Studies in World Language Problems 6] 2018
► pp. 19–37
Chapter 2. The politics of multilingualism in Canada
A neo-institutional approach
Language and linguistic diversity are eminently political in Canada. The country has two official languages, English and French, an official multiculturalism policy that encourages the retention and use of non-official languages, and basic measures for the promotion of aboriginal languages. This chapter raises the important question of language policy choices in Canada. How and why Canada made certain language policy choices – for example, privileging English and French over other languages, including aboriginal languages – and avoided others. In answering this question, we rely on two key concepts from political science: “state tradition” and “language regime”. Taken together, these two concepts serve as the basis for a neo-institutional approach for the study of the politics of multilingualism.