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ECPR General Conference 2020, University of Innsbruck

The Paradoxes of Language Institutionalization at the Local Level

Local Government
Policy Analysis
Panel Number
Panel Chair
Linda Cardinal
University of Ottawa

28/08/2015 17:50 - 19:30
Building: Jean-Brillant Floor: 3 Room: B-3240
This panel inserts itself in the discussion proposed in the section "Identity and the Challenge of Transformation". The panel brings together papers that explore the relationships between the State and local institutions, with regards to language policies. Specifically, the authors question the alignment between national and local language regimes. In the context of a France/Canada comparative research, we started by pointing out a paradox. While the language regime in France appears rather resistant to minority languages, the local scene provides opportunities for linguistic initiatives. In contrast, while the federal Canadian language framework confirms French and English as official languages, local initiatives supporting the development of official languages, particularly with respect to French outside of Quebec, seem more difficult to carry out. Using this paradox as a starting point, the communications of this panel analyze various forms of territorial language institutionalization. Furthermore, the comparative dimension is present throughout this panel. It will serve to clarify the factors presiding over the choice of language policies at the local level. In this regard, federalism is an essential variable in the Canadian context. The comparison also reveals other variables that are worth exploring. Indeed, the cases brought forward focus on the impact of borders (between France and Spain in the Basque case, between Quebec and Ontario in the Franco-Ontarian case and between Quebec and New Brunswick in the Acadian case). Case studies in the field of economic development, as well as local and school politics are used to document the process and to further the study of language regimes at the local level.

The papers collected in this panel explore the relationship between the State and local institutions, in regards to language policies.

Paper List

Title Details
Debating Language Rights at the Local Level: The Case of Bilingual Signage in New Brunswick View Paper Details
School Boards and Municipalities in la Francophonie Canadienne: Underestimated Places of Power? View Paper Details
The Construction of an Agri-food Space in French in Eastern Ontario View Paper Details
When Institutional Innovation comes from the Local: The Emergence of Basque Language Policy in France View Paper Details
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