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Multilingualism and Social Inclusion

Social Inclusion, Cogitatio, ISSN 2183-2803

Volume 5, 4, 2017

DOI:10.17645/si.v5i4.1286, Dimensions: pub.1100057604,




  1. (1) Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Department of International Relations, Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Kazakhstan
  2. (2) University of Amsterdam, grid.7177.6
  3. (3) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU







This is a thematic issue on the relation between multilingualism and social inclusion. Due to globalization, Europeanization, supranational and transnational regulations linguistic diversity and multilingualism are on the rise. Migration and old and new forms of mobility play an important role in these processes. As a consequence, English as the only global language is spreading around the world, including Europe and the European Union. Social and linguistic inclusion was accounted for in the pre-globalization age by the nation-state ideology implementing the ‘one nation-one people-one language’ doctrine into practice. This lead to forced linguistic assimilation and the elimination of cultural and linguistic heritage. Now, in the present age of globalization, linguistic diversity at the national state level has been recognized and multilingual states have been developing where all types of languages can be used in governance and daily life protected by a legal framework. This does not mean that there is full equality of languages. This carries over to the fair and just social inclusion of the speakers of these weaker, dominated languages as well. There is always a power question related to multilingualism. The ten case studies in this thematic issue elaborate on the relation between multilingualism and social inclusion. The articles in this issue refer to this topic in connection with different spaces, including the city, the island, and the globe; in connection with different groups, like Roma in the former Soviet-Union and ethnic Albanians in Macedonia; in connection with migration and mobility of Nordic pensioners to the south of Europe, and language education in Scotland; and finally in connection with bilingual education in Austria and Estonia as examples of successful practices including multilingualism under one and the same school roof.

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