Cognitive governance, according to Woodward, functions through the agreed values held by member nations and is a distinctive mode of influence of the OECD, as it does not have to reconcile competing ideological positions across current and aspiring members. Commitment to liberal democracy, market economics and human
rights are requirements for OECD membership. The second mode of OECD governance described by Woodward is normative governance, which picks up on and denotes the epistemological assumptions underpinning the OECD’s policy work and its functioning as a ‘laboratory of policy concepts’ (7). Woodward (8) suggests that: ‘Normative governance is the vaguest dimension of the OECD but it is arguably through challenging and changing the mindsets of the people involved that the Organization achieves its greatest influence’. This is the impact on national policy makers from participation in OECD committees that affects their assumptive worlds and produces what we might see as a particular ‘policy habitus’ (Lingard, Rawolle, and Taylor 2005). What we see is an alignment across and creation of epistemic communities at OECD and national policy-making levels (Ball 2012). This is also linked to the important international comparative data role taken by the OECD.

Sam Sellar & bob lingard

Sellar, S., & Lingard, B. (2013). The OECD and global governance in education. Journal of Education Policy, 28(5), 710–725.