Arab Journal of Administration المجلة العربية للإدارة


There is a great argument in academic literature over the implications of governance from the standpoint of the relation between governments and their societies. The new relation involves civic engagement as a cornerstone that enhances the legitimacy of democratic process. Civic engagement in international experiences proved to play a very important role in activating effective decision making and accountability through enhancing the readiness of citizens to accept public policies; thus enhancing the legitimacy of governance output. Accordingly, the paper tries to elaborate on the meaning of governance and civic engagement and its origins. It tries also to investigate the impact of civic engagement on decision making and accountability from international perspective, exploring, thus the different tools used for effective engagement in the two fields that represent the focal defendant variables of the study- decision making and accountability. Worth mentioning is the special concern that this paper gives to the experiment of the European Union, and this could be justified by the redundancy of academic writings that analyzed the role of civic engagement in enhancing the effectiveness of the European Commission in making decisions and activating public accountability in order to increase its legitimacy. The paper ends up with some suggestions concerning the requirements of strong civic bond that represents the essence of effective engagement. Also the researcher suggests the necessity of building a dynamic participation in which citizens’ opinions are perceived as new resources for problems solving and as an enforcement of institutional capacity of participatory practices.