Lessons for the EU
Edited by Francis Cheneval and Mónica Ferrin
Chapter 3: Linguistic policies and citizens’ claims in a multinational state: the case of Spain
This chapter assesses how the current Spanish political regime has managed to accommodate the various linguistic communities. More specifically, this chapter aims at disentangling the political dilemmas and multifaceted claims regarding linguistic policies in Spain. Linguistic policy is a subtle policy area, in which multiple layers of national identity, social conflict and value formation converge. It often creates political tensions, not only across the national and regional levels, but also within the regional arena itself. A main finding of this chapter is that the linguistic policies, which were established in Spain to manage the diversity of languages that have existed at multiple levels since democratisation, are constantly exposed to political conflicts. This is because they occur at the crossroads where different types of communities interact.
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