'Global English': Linguistic Imperialism or Practical Lingua Franca?
Ives, Peter. "'Global English': Linguistic Imperialism or Practical Lingua Franca?". Studies in Language and Capitalism 1 (2006): 121-141.
Despite its obvious political significance, political theory has not played a prominent role in the debates around the spread of 'global English'. Given the explosion of literature within political science and political theory on so-called 'globalization' and its effect on the nation-state together with the highly influential argument of Benedict Anderson on the historical role of language and print in the modern 'imagining' of nationhood, one would have thought political theorists would have a lot to contribute. However, even the recent growing literature on language and language rights within liberal political theory add little to the issues raised by the advent of 'global English'. This article aims at beginning to redress this situation by using several examples, especially the work of Phillipe van Parijs and Abram De Swaan, to show how separating the communicative aspect of language from issues of culture, identity and power creates an abstract and rarified conception of language that avoids any adequate approach to the politics of global English. By turning to the work of Antonio Gramsci and his argument for how a truly common Italian national language should be formed, we can find a more suitable framework and set concepts including his well known, hegemony.