Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World - Oxford Political Theory (Hardback)
  • Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World - Oxford Political Theory (Hardback)
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Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World - Oxford Political Theory (Hardback)

(author)
£41.99
Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 29/09/2011
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In Europe and throughout the world, competence in English is spreading at a speed never achieved by any language in human history. This apparently irresistible growing dominance of English is frequently perceived and sometimes indignantly denounced as being grossly unjust. Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World starts off arguing that the dissemination of competence in a common lingua franca is a process to be welcomed and accelerated, most fundamentally because it provides the struggle for greater justice in Europe and in the world with an essential weapon: a cheap medium of communication and of mobilization. However, the resulting linguistic situation can plausibly be regarded as unjust in three distinct senses. Firstly, the adoption of one natural language as the lingua franca implies that its native speakers are getting a free ride by benefiting costlessly from the learning effort of others. Secondly, they gain greater opportunities as a result of competence in their native language becoming a more valuable asset. And thirdly the privilege systematically given to one language fails to show equal respect for the various languages with which different portions of the population concerned identify. The book spells out the corresponding interpretations of linguistic justice as cooperative justice, distributive justice and parity of esteem, respectively. And it discusses systematically a wide range of policies that might help achieve linguistic justice in these three senses, from a linguistic tax on Anglophone countries to the banning of dubbing or the linguistic territoriality principle. Against this background, the book argues that linguistic diversity is not valuable in itself but it will nonetheless need to be protected as a by-product of the pursuit of linguistic justice as parity of esteem.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199208876
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 603 g
Dimensions: 236 x 155 x 27 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
a landmark publication * Yael Peled, Language Policy *
Aside from addressing a phenomenon the spread of English as a lingua franca that is increasingly global in scope, the questions of justice that Van Parijs raises are ones that not only political theorists but also governments of all nationalities should attend to. He also manages to provide a comprehensive theory of linguistic justice something that few others have so far attempted along with a rich and often illuminating factual discussion of how the use of English continues to spread, and how individuals' different native linguistic competencies mean that the benefits of this growth are enjoyed asymmetrically.[continued below]
Overall, the book is engaging and well written, and represents an insightful and dispassionate foray into a domain in which, as Van Parijs notes in his introduction, 'emotion often rules unbridled'. It is a welcome addition to the growing philosophical literature on language rights, and should be considered essential reading for theorists working in this field. * Matt Watson, Journal of Multilingual & Multicultural Development *
[This book] provides a broad yet incisive look at one of the most pressing issues of justice for the modern world. It is packed full of original and creative thought, and manages to successfully combine a comprehensive theoretical approach with a focus on practical issues and solutions. As such it will be a valuable and insightful resource for anybody with even the vaguest interest in the subject, and is sure to spark further debate as to what the requirements and entailments of linguistic justice should be. * Michael Jewkes, Ethical Perspectives *
Excellent analysis of a practice that, not unlike religion, cannot be treated neutrally. * E. R. Gill, CHOICE *
van Parijs' book is a welcome addition to the literature. It brings to an anglophone readership a focus on a much-neglected subject, the issue of linguistic justice, and it explains the reactions of those who are in a disadvantaged position. It may contribute to puncturing the complacent egotism of English native speakers. it may help to convince anti-English lobbies that there are also positive spin-offs from linguistic globalisation. And, finally, it will provide those committed to promoting a transnational arena for deliberation and mobilisation with a fund of argument and evidence from which to draw as they develop their case. * Sue Wright, Times Higher Education *

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