OECD as a site of co-production: European education governance and the new politics of ‘policy mobilization’

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Located in the field of the transnational governance of education, the article examines international comparative testing through a sociological analysis of the knowledge and actors that have become central to it. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has become a dominant policy actor in the governance of European education; this was the result of its deliberate and systematic mobilization by the European Commission (EC), which found in the OECD not only a great resource of data to govern (which it did not have before) but also a player who would be pushing the Commission’s own policy agenda forward, albeit leaving the old subsidiarity rule intact. The article discusses the role of experts in this emergent European policy field through an examination of ‘policy mobilization’; using the concepts of boundary work and ‘boundary organization’, the article shows how the OECD has transformed into a ‘site of coproduction’ of both knowledge and social order (St Clair, A.L., 2006. Global poverty: the co-production of knowledge and politics. Global social policy, 6 (1), 57–77).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-281
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Policy Studies
Issue number3
Early online date10 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • education
  • experts
  • OECD
  • boundary


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