Language Policy and Peacebuilding
Across the world, nations and societies are in crisis. Threats to peace and security proliferate, and solutions are elusive. At the center of both the problem and the solution are matters of language. A person’s language is a defining factor in social and cultural identity. This is true within and between groups. Language policy guiding both language use and language choice can be pivotal in both crisis and crisis resolution.
Far from being a simple statement of national language practices, language policy carries profound sociopolitical implications. Language policy has the power to include or exclude, recognize or ignore, support or deny the rights and realities of ethnolinguistic communities; for this reason, language policy deliberations and decisions are key to any sustainable peacebuilding. The power of language policy to build or undermine peacebuilding is not always well understood in political circles; nevertheless, ignoring the implications of language choice can seriously undermine efforts to build peace between communities and nations.
How do issues of language, language complexity, and communication play out in peace-building efforts and ongoing security? How can language issues be identified and addressed effectively in policy planning and execution? Drawing on relevant scholarship and experience, these questions will be addressed through a combination of keynote address and a lively panel discussion. Please join us for this important event.