New Book by Dr. Carla Figueira

Peter Lang has jut published a new book by Dr. Carla Figueira, entitled Languages at War: External Language Spread Policies in Lusophone Africa.

Further details on the book available here:

Dr. Figueira is the Director of the MA Cultural Policy, Relations and Diplomacy and the MA Cultural Policy and Tourism at ICCE, Goldsmiths.

Excerpt of the book’s Foreword by Robert Phillipson, author of Linguistic Imperialism:

“The warfare analysed by Carla Figueira is the battle for hearts and minds and influence, the goal of Westerners being to profit from the economies of vulnerable former colonies, often through continuing to exploit them. Portuguese is in combat with French and English in a new scramble for Africa and its resources – with language as a key battering ram. New alliances have emerged, countries identified as Lusophone, Francophone and Anglophone/Commonwealth. However, in such countries only a small fraction of the population is proficient in these languages. The challenge for Carla Figueira has been to relate the forces and pressures impacting on national and international power to national identity and diversity, to linguistic imperialism and linguistic human rights, and the roles of the various constituences, including non-governmental organizations. She describes the theoretical ramparts for analysing the complex interlocking of these various factors. The instruments and agents of linguistic warfare are diagnosed, as are the implications for the citizens of the countries involved.

 Carla Figueira’s book fills an important gap in the research literature. It explores cultural and linguistic diplomacy through a comparative empirical study of the policies of France, Germany, Portugal and the UK in the ‘external’ spread of their languages. It relates the activities to their reception in two former Portuguese colonies. Brazil was included because of the link between Portuguese-speaking Brazil and Portuguese former colonies in Africa. The study integrates approaches from the fields of international relations, development ‘aid’, sociolinguistics, language diversity, language rights, and language policy, especially in education. It judiciously presents a great deal of information on under-researched topics, and brings the issues together in astute and interesting conclusions. This is therefore an important book for the study of North-South links, and how agendas that are of major significance for social cohesion in postcolonial states are set.”