Academic citizenship as a mediating mechanism




effective communication, mediation, trust-building, weaponizing academic citizenship


Various skills necessary to conduct mediation—a popular alternative dispute resolution mechanism—from effective trust-building to active-listening can be extrapolated and applied to defining and manifesting good academic citizenship. This essay suggests that learning how to communicate better, by understanding the interest of others while advocating for our own, is an essential—and often lacking—skill for many academics. Not only is communication a sign of respect that we are willing to engage with one another, but perhaps more relevant to the issue of academic citizenship, effective communication entails empathy and kindness, which fosters the willingness for the other side to reciprocate. This feeling of mutual respect and reciprocity are key ingredients to engendering safety and a sense of belonging, which often produce successful outcomes in mediation. This essay, relying on personal narratives, submits that these elements are currently lacking across many pockets of academia, where various instances of failure to communicate have created a sense of distrust and unnecessary acrimony. Learning how to mediate could offer academics a path out of this conundrum, which could also contribute to strengthening our collective sense of academic citizenship.




How to Cite

Kawakami, M. (2024). Academic citizenship as a mediating mechanism. Journal of Praxis in Higher Education, 6(2), 122–134.



Special Issue: What is academic citizenship?