Thematic Introduction

Fernand de Varennes and Claire Murray

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Abstract

Whereas IJMS Vol 3/1 identified the rights of minorities in language matters, the focus of this edition turns to recent legal developments in the field of linguistic rights; the manner in which they have been incorporated into legislation and the legal protection afforded them. The analyses undertaken by contributors of language laws developed in four regions of disparate social and cultural history reveal the common priority and urgency that governing entities have accorded the development of such legislation; the process of drafting and promulgating linguistic legislation has often been completed remarkably rapidly, as governments have sought to harness the practical and symbolic influence of language in order to reshape society and redress historical power imbalances between its composite groups.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

De Varennes, Fernand and Murray, Claire. Thematic Introduction. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 2001, vol. 3, no.2, pp. 56-60. UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574. www.unesco.org/shs/ijms/vol3/issue2/art1

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