Transitional Politics and Language Rights in a Multi-ethnic Northern Ireland: Towards a True Linguistic Pluralism?

Sarah McMonagle, Philip McDermott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of the deliberations on cultural diversity and language policy that have occurred in Northern Ireland since the onset of the peace process. The paper looks specifically at how policy decisions and political debate on the Irish language and the languages of migrant communities are driven by competing notions of Britishness and Irishness, despite a supposed desire in the Belfast Agreement to promote ‘respect, understanding and tolerance in relation to linguistic diversity’. The paper argues that the peace process has increased the level of policy discussion on both autochthonous and allochthonous language issues, but has also served to cement their position within ethnic conflict. While debates on new policy directions have raised discussions on intercultural awareness in policy delivery, the competing interests of the political parties have tended to act as a barrier to the development of a true linguistic pluralism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-266
Number of pages22
JournalEthnopolitics
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2014

Keywords

  • language policy
  • Northern Ireland
  • Irish Language
  • immigration
  • peace process

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