The State Role in Addressing Linguistic Disadvantages

Cecilia Gialdini

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


This paper addresses the question of how linguistic disadvantage arise as a result of state action. More precisely, it discusses the role of the state in generating linguistic disadvantage, and its responsibility in coping with it. The state, therefore, can adopt a more or less multilingual approach to public goods provision, thereby ensuring the enjoyment of the public services (or not) to different linguistic groups in society. In this paper, linguistic disadvantage is understood as a failure of the state in guaranteeing either negative right (refraining from creating linguistic barriers to access public services) or positive rights (proactively operate to ensure access to public services). The paper will thus analyse the disadvantages considering both the symbolic and practical dimension of language, namely understanding that disadvantage in the symbolic sphere, which embraces the concepts of identity, political recognition, pride and cultural dignity, and the ones in the practical sphere, which entails more quantitative inequalities such as difficulties in the access to public services. It will as well consider two different time frames, the long run of the short run, and how the different spheres of public administration cope with the needs of the linguistic communities present on the territory.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2021
EventXVIIIth World Congress of the International Political Science Association - Quebec
Duration: 1 Aug 2002 → …


ConferenceXVIIIth World Congress of the International Political Science Association
Period1/08/02 → …


  • Language Policy
  • Linguistic Justice
  • Public Policy
  • Linguistic Disadvantage


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