Coalitions and Language Politics: Policy Shifts in Southeast Asia
Why is it that some governments recognize only one language while others espouse multilingualism? Related, why are some governments able to shift language policies, and if there is a shift, what explains the direction? In this article, the authors argue that these choices are theproduct of coalitional constraints facing the government during critical junctures in history. During times of political change in the state-building process, the effective threat of an alternate linguistic group determines the emergent language policy. If the threat is low, the government moves toward monolingual policies. As the threat increases, however, the government is forced to co-opt the alternate linguistic group by shifting the policy toward a greater degree of multilingualism. The authors test this argument by examining the language policies for government services and the education system in three Southeast Asian countries (Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand).
Language policy, social policy, nation building, education and state, multilingualism, South east Asia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore
Asian Studies | Education Policy | Political Science
Cambridge University Press
RICKS, Jacob I., & LIU, Amy H..(2012). Coalitions and Language Politics: Policy Shifts in Southeast Asia. World Politics, 64(3), 476-506.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/1404