This paper focuses on the role of the OECD as a boundary organisation in Swedish education policy during the last 10 years. This has been a critical period of the transformation of the Swedish education system. Post-PISA, Swedish education moved from a position of confidence and relative strength to one of crisis and slow recovery. So far, most educational research has either tried to identify a top-down linear influence from the international to the national “levels”, or has disputed such influence by suggesting that PISA has not causally led to substantial national reforms. On the contrary, this article suggests that education policy research has to move away from viewing the relationship of the national with the global as hierarchical, linear and hegemonic. Through the operationalisation of the concept of boundary organisation, this paper is asking pertinent questions about the conditions, processes and practices that led to the entanglement of a large international organisation, the OECD, in the day-to-day policy-making of a country such as Sweden. This requires a nuanced theoretical and empirical approach, attentive to the political work of material artefacts, actors and organisations in the negotiations and ultimately the making of educational consensus.
- boundary organisation