Chapter published in:The Politics of Multilingualism: Europeanisation, globalisation and linguistic governance
Edited by Peter A. Kraus and François Grin
[Studies in World Language Problems 6] 2018
► pp. 65–87
The impact of mobility and migration on the identity-constructing policy in Brussels
The Belgian model is based upon monolingual territories and the integrative power of the two traditional “imagined communities” of Dutch and French speakers. The institutionalisation of this policy in the 1970 led to a particular political model without a national language, national political parties, national education or national media.For Brussels, this resulted in a complex model of dual bilingualism with two language communities and a situation of partial power-sharing. Since then, however, Brussels has been subject to a diversified form of migration which has led to the current situation in which half of the population has non-Belgian roots. This results in a highly multilingual and multicultural environment.However, this identity-constructing policy based upon the two traditional language groups no longer meets the expectations of this diverse population. This chapter focuses on the confrontation between top-down identity-constructing bilingual policy and the framing of the political debate, on the one hand, and the sense of belonging in a multilingual and multicultural setting, on the other.
Keywords: language policy, multilingualism, Brussels
Published online: 10 September 2018
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