23 SES 08 B, Inside a Global Player: Looking at the OECD ‘from within’
The OECD has risen to prominence as one of the most influential international organisations in the world, in large part due to its country reviews and comprehensive comparative testing portfolio. This paper starts from two proposition; 1) that fields of tension and antagonisms lie beyond the universalistic rationality of the consensual world-visions apparently supported by the OECD, and 2) that, at least in the field of transnational education policy, the role of quantification has played an essential part in shaping and thus governing the field. The paper takes a historical perspective in analysing and substantiating these propositions during the first decade of the OECD's existence: the 1960s. The focus is on the first OECD conference on education held in Washington, DC, in 1961, and the educational programmes surrounding this conference. The article also considers the interorganisational relations between the OECD and UNESCO, a competing organisation in terms of defining and shaping education internationally. The authors argue that in order to understand the role of International Organisations in transnational education governance, one needs to bring together two important, interdependent aspects; first, an empirical sociological analysis of knowledge as produced through the construction of education metrics; and, second, a sociology of the trajectories and positions of European and national education actors/experts in International Organisations that also 'make' the European education policy space, by being active mediators between and across International Organisations and nations.
Barnett, Finnemore (2004). Rules for the world : international organizations in global politics. Ithaca, N.Y. ; London: Cornell University Press. Bürgi (2016). Systemic management of schools: the OECD’s professionalisation and dissemination of output governance in the 1960s. Paedagogica Historica, 52(4), 408–422. Martens (2007) 'How to become an Influential Actor – the 'Comparative Turn' in OECD Education Policy', in: Kerstin / Rusconi/ Leuze (Hg.), New Arenas of Education Governance. The Impact ofInternational Organisations and Markets on Educational Policymaking, London: Routledge. Tröhler (2015). The medicalization of current educational research and its effects on education policy and school reforms. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 36(5), 749–764.
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