This book, which emerges in the context of the European research network LINEE (Languages in a Network of European Excellence), is concerned with European multilingualism both as a political concept and as a social reality. It features cutting-edge studies by linguists and anthropologists who perceive multilingualism as a discursive phenomenon which can be revealed and analyzed through empirical fieldwork. The book presents a fresh perspective of European multilingualism as it takes the reader through key themes of social consciousness–identity, policy, education, economy–and relevant societal levels of organization (European, national, regional). With its distinct focus on post-national society caught in unifying as well as diversifying socio-political currents, the volume problematizes emerging contradictions inherent in the idea of a Europe beyond the nation state–between speech minorities and majorities, economic realities, or socio-political ideologies.
Patrick Studer, ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland; Iwar Werlen, University of Bern, Switzerland.