The OECD’s Historical Rise in Education: The Formation of a Global Governing Complex

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Reviewing the arguments and findings of the chapters in this book, this concluding chapter illustrates the formation and workings of a global education governing complex. It explicates this governing complex and reveals its constitution, mechanisms, and trajectories, as well as the book’s connections and contributions to the fields of history of education and policy research. The chapter argues that an OECD-centred global education governing complex is characterized by 1) an historical trajectory going back to World War II and shaped during the bipolar world order of the Cold War, 2) distinct ideological components about capitalist economics pursuing economic growth based on human resources and the establishment of a well-functioning labour market, 3) underlying assumptions about the universality and general applicability of education programmes and practices, and 4) inherent values where education is a utilitarian endeavour. These aspects are too often overlooked in political discourse about education and must be critically studied across local, regional, national, transnational, and global perspectives.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-33798-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-33799-5
Publication statusPublished - 2019
SeriesGlobal Histories of Education

Bibliographical note

This edited volume focuses on the historical role of the OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) in shaping global education policy. In this book, contributors shed light on the present-day perspective of Comparative Education as a logical addition to current scholarship on the history of international organizations in the field of education. Doing so, the book provides a deeper understanding of contemporary developments in education that will enable us to reflect critically on the trajectories and future developments of education worldwide.


  • OECD
  • Policy
  • History


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