Chapter in:Advances in Interdisciplinary Language Policy
Edited by François Grin, László Marácz and Nike K. Pokorn
[Studies in World Language Problems 9] 2022
► pp. 130–149
The politics of inclusion, citizenship and multilingualism
Our chapter deals with the emergence of new linguistic identities in connection with the dynamics of Europeanisation and transnationalisation. Against this background, we discuss whether and in what way the interplay of old and new patterns of linguistic diversity is affecting the trade-off between mobility and inclusion in multilingual societies. On the basis of a literature review, we first show how macro-historical processes of nation-building have affected modern identity-building by linking particular languages to particular collective (national) identities. In a second step, we focus on how the institutional monolingualism of nation states is challenged by complex diversity. In view of the changing linguistic profiles of European societies, political factors play a key role when it comes to acknowledging multilingualism as part of citizenship status and of the socio-cultural practices related to it. Third, we focus on Riga and Barcelona, which stand for specific types of complex diversity, to empirically illustrate the consequences that different institutional approaches to multilingual realities have in terms of creating more or less open identity frames for citizens. The chapter finally addresses tensions between the human potential to develop multilingual repertoires and the political attribution of unequal status to different languages. Multilingualism entails the possibility of tackling the trade-off between mobility and inclusion in a productive way; ultimately, however, political factors determine if linguistic diversity is regarded as a communicative resource or as a threat to established linguistic identities.