English title: Accommodating diversity in deeply divided societies: The management of the linguistic conflict in the Belgian consociational democracy

Author(s): Tobias Weise -

Language: English

Type: Thesis / dissertation

Year: 2008

Abstract

In divided societies, i.e. societies where multiple separate societal groups are living together under one government, larger con?icts appear to be common. These con?icts might lead to violent disputes between groups and endanger the stability of the state. This may be even more so, when the con?icting groups are divided by a linguistic cleavage. However, there are states, like the Kingdom of Belgium, that manage to maintain a stable democracy despite the divided character of their society. This paper will try to analyze how this is possible. At ?rst, the divisions of the Belgian society will be examined. Following, in a multidisciplinary approach that unites theories from sociolinguistics and political sciences, a consociational approach will be identi?ed as crucial for the successful accommodation of diversity in the Belgian democracy. Furthermore, it will be stated that language policy plays a very important role in the maintenance of stability of the Belgian divided society.

Type/degree:

Awarding institution: Viadrina European University

Number of pages: 44

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