The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

1st Edition

By Richard Woodward


144 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is one of the least written about and least understood of our major global institutions. This new book builds a well-rounded understanding of this crucial, though often neglected, institution, with a range of clearly written chapters that:

    • outline its origins and evolution, bringing its story fully up-to-date
    • present a clear framework for understanding the OECD
    • set the institution within the broader context of global governance
    • outline key criticisms and debates
    • evaluate its future prospects.

Given the immense challenges facing humanity at the start of the 21st century, the need for the OECD as a venue where the world’s leading states can discuss, on an informal and ongoing basis, the conundrums of globalization has never been greater. The clarity and rigour of these chapters cut through the layers of misunderstanding and misconception that surround the OECD, often dismissed as a ‘rich-man’s club’, ‘a think-tank’ and ‘a consultative forum’. This new book dismantles these labels to provide a holistic understanding of the organization.

This concise and accessible introduction is essential reading for all students of international relations, politics and world history and affairs.


'A valuable survey and analysis of an international organisation long-neglected by academics; Richard Woodward’s book on the OECD makes a major contribution to our understanding of global governance.' - Stephen McBride, Director, Centre for Global Political Economy, Simon Fraser University, USA

'Many have lamented the absence of a comprehensive study of the OECD. Richard Woodward has acted to correct that situation, and he has done it very well. Here is a synoptic single-authored treatment of this extraordinarily influential organization based on careful scholarship and a determination to be fair.' - Robert T. Kudrle, University of Minnesota, USA

'This is a much needed text about the OECD, an astonishingly under-researched organization that represents an important piece in the mosaic of current global governance… a highly accessible book for students and scholars of international organizations.' - Anja P. Jakobi, University of Bremen, Germany

"Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels." - F. L. Mokhtari, CHOICE (February 2010)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Origin and Evolution 2. Organization and Functioning 3. A Framework for Understanding 4. Current Issues 5. OECD Reform 6. The Future of the OECD

About the Author

Richard Woodward is a Lecturer in political economy in the Department of Politics, University of Hull, UK.

About the Series

Global Institutions

The "Global Institutions Series" is edited by Thomas G. Weiss (The CUNY Graduate Center, New York, USA) and Rorden Wilkinson (University of Sussex, UK).

The Series has two "streams" identified by their covers:

  • Blue covers offer comprehensive, accessible, and informative guides to the history, structure, and activities of key international organizations, and introductions to topics of key importance in contemporary global governance. Recognized experts use a similar structure to address the general purpose and rationale for specific organizations along with historical developments, membership, structure, decision-making procedures, key functions, and an annotated bibliography and guide to electronic sources.
  • Red covers consist of research monographs and edited collections that advance knowledge about one aspect of global governance; they reflect a wide variety of intellectual orientations, theoretical persuasions, and methodological approaches.

Together these streams provide a coherent and complementary portrait of the problems, prospects, and possibilities confronting global institutions today.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Trade & Tariffs