Doing comparison: Producing authority in an international organization

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter offers an answer by looking at comparison, not simply as a means of generating policy-relevant knowledge, but as itself a form of policy work. International comparison is one of the principal ways in which national governments nowadays seek to assess and improve the effectiveness of their policies, from delivery of services such as education and healthcare, to control of social issues such as crime and migration, to administrative functions such as tax collection. By following the different ways in which WHO has sought to produce comparative knowledge of mental health provision, the chapter focuses on the different ways it has endeavored to configure itself as an authoritative policy organization. Neither document provided any empirical evidence in support of the public mental health perspective or the particular lines of action that they recommended; rather, they read more like a statement of shared aims and values than an example of evidence-based policy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Politics of Expertise in International Organizations
Subtitle of host publicationHow International Bureaucracies Produce and Mobilize Knowledge
EditorsAnnabelle Littoz-Monnet
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781315542386
ISBN (Print)9781138687257, 9780367030872
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2017

Publication series

NameGlobal Institutions


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