Linda Cardinal


Linda Cardinal
Professor and holder of the Research Chair in Canadian Francophonie and Public Policies

Bureau: 613-562-5800 ext. 2697
Courriel professionnel:

Linda Cardinal


Chair in Canadian Francophonie and Public Policies

Faculty of Social Sciences
School of Political Studies

Research Focus

  • The debate surrounding the new post-nationalist approach to citizenship and linguistic diversity;
  • The various models of governance and linguistic arrangements and their capacity to foster the empowerment of official language minorities in Canada; and
  • Study of models likely to ensure the preservation and growth of linguistic diversity in a world of growing integration.

Research Relevance

The goal of this research is to stimulate new thoughts and theories relating to the creation of public policies and the empowerment of linguistic minorities at a time of globalization and redefinition of national identities. The research will focus on public policies at the municipal, provincial and federal levels, with eventual comparisons at the international level. During the course of her career, Professor Cardinal has acted as an advisor to various decision-makers and organizations dealing with language policy.

Defining public policies to empower linguistic minorities

Of the estimated 6,000 to 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, only about 650 will succeed in surviving. During the 19th century and most of the 20th, language policies in Canada and in Europe were predicated on the demands of nation-building. Despite a certain accommodation of minority languages, the demands of nation-building politicized the issue of language and resulted in the more pragmatic elements of public policy being neglected. However, since the 1990s minority languages have been given new legitimacy as globalization has begun undermining the concept of the nation-state and as post-nationalist identities, characterized by people feeling they belong to several groups at once, have appeared.

A prolific researcher, Linda Cardinal is focused on the study of language policies and more specifically on the relations between the state and language minorities.

Recognizing language rights is not the only way to increase the capacity of languages to survive. Linda Cardinal hypothesizes that the future of minority languages will also depend on the way governments attempt to develop models adapted to the needs of linguistic minorities and to the contexts in which the minority languages try to develop. The debates surrounding the appearance of post-national identities are an important benchmark in the creation of such models. Will the new theoretical framework be able to breathe new life into thought and discussion of the concepts of language and nation in Canada? Can Canada come to see language as a public policy issue rather than a nationalist symbol?

Featured Awards and Recognition

  • Order of Canada – Member (C.M.) (2016)
  • Knight of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques de la République française (2013)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2013)
  • Clé de voute Award (2011)
Back to top