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Politics without the Vernacular: Liberal Culturalism and the Language Policy of the European Union

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Abstract

Will Kymlicka's liberal culturalism presents a tension between the idea that linguistic diversity in multilingual polities should be protected and the claim that democratic debate across linguistic boundaries is unfeasible. In this article, I resolve that tension by arguing that trans-lingual democratic deliberation in multilingual polities is necessary to legitimise those measures aimed at the protection of linguistic diversity. I conclude that my account provides a coherent normative response to the challenges faced by the European Union (EU) in the field of language policy and that an EU-wide deliberative forum is not as unfeasible as Kymlicka suggests.

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