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Conflict and Compromise in Multilingual Societies: Belgium

By Kenneth McRae
Subjects Language Arts & Disciplines
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Paperback : 9780889201958, 402 pages, January 2006


The author of an authoritative work on this topic in Swiss society now draws a comprehensive picture of Belgium's linguistic demarcations. Firmly rooting the discussion in an historical background, the author discusses group images and attitudes and the constitutional and institutional framework for multilingualism that exists in Belgium. Yet, as the title of the series would suggest, conflicts do lead to compromises, and the study concludes with a penetrating look at contemporary problems in Belgium – problems stemming from the very richness of multilingual culture. This analysis of Belgium is concerned not only with conflict between language groups as such, but with evolving relationships between language diversity and economic development, language diversity and distributional fairness, language cleavage and other societal cleavages, and the implication of language diversity for democratic politics.