The Languages of Nationalism

  • Astrid von Busekist
Part of the The CERI series in Comparative Politics and International Studies book series (CERI)


What the eye is to the lover, language is to the patriot.1 Summed up like this the union between language and nation promises eternity. Of all modern couples, it is without contest the most united and the most solid, insensitive to the prevailing climate and to threats of dissolution in puta-tive postmodernism. More than elective affinities, this indestructible tie is a question of logic. If one accepts that nationalism is political—and that politics is language, then the nation, and as a consequence national-ism, are indissociable from language. But what is the precise nature of the ties holding together the couple in question, and above all: which language are we speaking of? The logos? The ‘national’ language? The militant language of nationalists? The messianic language of the national Promised Land? The dialect destined to become a national language? The particular lexicon of the intellectual, military or religious elite aspir-ing to national power?


Language Policy National Language Cultural Good Vernacular Language Linguistic Identity 
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Copyright information

© Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales, Paris 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Astrid von Busekist

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