© 2012

Higher Education and Civic Engagement

Comparative Perspectives

  • Editors
  • Lorraine McIlrath
  • Ann Lyons
  • Ronaldo Munck

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Introduction

    1. Lorraine McIlrath, Ann Lyons, Ronaldo Munck
      Pages 1-11
  3. Context and Concepts

  4. Manifestations and Issues

  5. Reflections on Practice

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 155-155
    2. José L. Arco, Francisco D. Fernández, Patricia J. Morales, Maribel Miñaca, Miriam Hervás
      Pages 157-171
    3. Cynthia Myntti, Mounir Mabsout, Rami Zurayk
      Pages 205-219
  6. Afterthoughts: The Walls

    1. Mary O’Malley
      Pages 241-249
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 251-268

About this book


Provides an original and challenging contribution to contemporary debates on the civic purpose of higher education, exploring its manifestations through practices of teaching and research. Offers critical perspectives on the role of higher education institutions in terms of realizing civic missions, especially in current global market conditions.


e-learning education higher education learning research teaching university

About the authors

Lorraine McIlrath is Community Knowledge Initiative Coordinator & Academic Staff Developer at National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.

Bibliographic information


"Engagement is a deeply local practice; yet it can no longer be 'obvious' or 'natural' once it is examined from diverse cultural, national, and historical perspectives. This book offers us exactly such an approach, helping to reveal important conceptual and empirical insights and thus rethink what we know about civic engagement through a global perspective." - Dan W. Butin, Dean, School of Education, Merrimack College

"This book is a must-read for those who want to deepen their knowledge of higher education's civic engagement in a challenging global context. What does it mean to educate students for global citizenship in economic hard times? What is the university's role in community building in nations across the world? This book is rich with insight into both the broad philosophical dimensions of these important questions as well as practice on the ground." - Elizabeth Hollander, Senior Fellow, Tufts University Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service

"Universities have always had to act both internationally and locally. They have also frequently been ahead of their national governments in probing and proposing solutions to the big questions. This volume brings some of the resulting strains - and their potential resolution - up to date, not just for a global market, but also in support of a global dialogue on what higher education 'civic engagement' could and should comprise." - Sir David Watson, professor of Higher Education and principal, Green Templeton College, Oxford

"This book is a splendid addition to the literature on civic engagement and higher education, and a vital resource for anyone who wants to strengthen the role of the university as a force for global social change. An outstanding piece of public scholarship in service to a better world." - Michael Edwards, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Demos

"This book helps us look beyond our own noses to see what engaged universities, individual academics, and community partners are doing in other places. A positive potpourri of knowledge for anyone interested in understanding more about higher education and civic engagement in a global context." - Angie Hart, professor, University of Brighton, England

"The views from 'the South' as articulated by authors from South Africa and South America, as an alternative to the most common Northern views regarding the civic mission of Higher Education are timely, and most welcome!" - Maria Avila, PhD, Civic Engagement Consultant