Constructions of academic citizenship: A case study on Philippine and English research universities


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Commentators have traditionally treated academic citizenship as equivalent to the academic’s service role, the third dimension of academic work alongside teaching and research. Given the shifting landscapes in higher education and the blurring of academic work boundaries, is the service role an adequate conceptualisation of academic citizenship? The study questions this conventional association as it explores the meanings ascribed to academic citizenship by academic staff from two research universities, one in the Philippines and one in England.

Applying the theory of persons and the social psychological approach to citizenship as practice, the study draws from data gathered from semi-structured interviews and document reviews to illuminate nuanced interpretations of academic citizenship. The research reveals that academics anchor their citizenship to their idea of a ‘community’. They draw from certain notions of autonomy and academic freedom to enact academic citizenship in their contexts. The study argues that academic citizenship should be framed more widely than the service role and the performance of activities with civic or moral value. Rather, academic citizenship should be conceptualised as a practice of enactment, that is, by the values and processes by which it is enacted and asserted as academics exercise freedoms, autonomy and individual motivations. The study also brings insights into how wider contextual factors affect the university as an institution and of the discipline as a collective, and how these in turn inform staff’s participation in academic work and the way they consider themselves as citizens.
Date of Award8 Oct 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Edge Hill University
SupervisorDAVID ALDRIDGE (Director of Studies) & FELIX OBADAN (Supervisor)


  • Academic citizenship
  • Academic identity
  • Academic work
  • Higher education
  • Service role

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