Venice Summer Institute 2013: The Economics of Language Policy
The language policy of international bodies or individual countries is a complex and often controversial issue in today’s world, as we can witness in multilingual countries like Belgium, Spain, or the Ukraine. Also the language policies of international entities like the European Union involve many complex problems.
Relevant issues are effective and efficient communication, possible alienation of (parts) of the population, as well as fairness. Language policy, hence, covers issues as different as management of multilingual communication in international organizations and human rights of ethnic minorities.
It raises a number of questions related both to justice and to the efficient allocation of material and symbolic resources among people speaking different languages. Also here we encounter the traditional trade-off between equity and efficiency.