Editor's Note: This is a new edition of a previously announced book.
Linguistic Minorities in Democratic Context, now in paperback for the first time, blends a discussion of the role of language minorities in politics with a detailed understanding of applied language policy in a variety of contexts ranging from Quebec, the Basque Country and Wales to Gaelic Scotland and Northern Ireland. Colin Williams discusses the controversial and contemporary issues of minority rights and language protection, the policies of the state in privileging powerful majorities, the new opportunities and challenges ushered in by regional-level devolution in Europe and the influence which globalization has on language competition and survival. He argues that after centuries of discrimination, well placed linguistic minorities are in positions of power and influence and must devise new strategies and justification to cope with the demands of responsible government. His analysis provides a fresh interpretation of the role of minorities within plurinational states and poses difficult questions for the framers of policies which seek to promote unity in diversity in both Europe and North America.