The Community of Portuguese Language Speaking Countries (CPLP): The Role of Language in a Globalizing World

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Abstract

Building on Joseph Nye’s concept of soft power, this paper conducts a case study analysis on the role and relevance of language in the Community of Portuguese Language Speaking Countries (CPLP). This organization was built on the shared history and language of its eight member states – Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe and Timor-Leste – and has recently attracted the interest of many states in and out of the Atlantic Basin. In this context, language is one of the assets allowing this organization to increase its international projection and attractiveness. Notwithstanding, it is also true that recent power configurations in the South Atlantic – with energy and security matters
at its core – has also contributed to increasing the CPLP’s ‘magnetism’. Hence, we argue that language has allowed the CPLP to project soft power (through the pivotal role played by the governments of Portugal and Brazil), but that language itself has in turn benefited from the economic attractiveness of the organization. Many states in and out of the Atlantic Basin now perceive the CPLP as a relevant forum through which they can reach the ‘Lusophone world’. In as much as entering the CPLP requires compliance with certain political values and the adoption of the Portuguese language (or of policies that promote its diffusion) there is a new opportunity to increase language potential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-23
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2014
EventAtlantic Future – Governance Innovation Week - Pretoria, South Africa
Duration: 6 Jul 20147 Jul 2014

Conference

ConferenceAtlantic Future – Governance Innovation Week
CountrySouth Africa
CityPretoria
Period6/07/147/07/14

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