Minority languages are part of Europe’s shared cultural heritage and there is a broad consensus that it is important to protect and encourage linguistic and cultural diversity during the process of continuing European integration. But what legislative and policy instruments can be effective? Are there conflicts between language rights and the social policy demands of nation building? How are general European concerns reflected or challenged within individual countries?

Published as hardback in 2003 and as paperback in 2010, this volume illustrates the intellectually productive debate among sociolinguists, linguistic anthropologists, political scientists, lawyers, language activists and policy makers, focusing on the current status of minority languages within a “Europe of the regions”, the future prospects for minority languages in the continuing process of European integration, and the effectiveness of current national and European frameworks in ensuring future linguistic and cultural diversity.

This is a timely work which contains a fascinating discussion of key areas in managing Europe’s cultural and linguistic diversity. It may contribute in theoretical and empirical terms to a better understanding of the challenges facing the new Europe, and the legal and political imperatives for diversity.Fernand De Varennes, Murdoch University School of Law

This book provides a highly useful interdisciplinary treatment of the challenges and opportunities confronting minority languages in Europe. … a well-balanced introduction to essential aspects of minority language issues … complemented by careful case studies, this book is destined to remain a valuable resource for students and scholars in years to come.François Grin, University of Geneva

Important reading for anyone interested in minority languages . . . a good overview of the current debates on language rights, linguistic diversity and efforts at protection and promotion by international treaties and organizations. This is a rich and fascinating collection which adds a number of in-depth case-studies on minorities that have not received much attention in the literature thus far and sheds real light on issues of minority languages and language policy.Durk Gorter, University of the Basque Country