For international organisations in the global education policy field, legitimacy is based in large part on the supposed techno-rational basis of these organisations and their ability to credibly produce knowledge and policy expertise. However, as the present article demonstrates, there are clearly a range of macro–micro organisational dynamics driving the production of knowledge and the policy ideas that are advanced. By revealing the way that a particular policy emerged and was promoted within the World Bank, this article seeks to expose the way that policy innovation is produced by the iterative interplay of agentic activity and particular organisational circumstances–and how this process is used to maintain and extend the influence of international organisations and the individuals who represent them. By drawing on Stewart Clegg’s ‘circuits of power’ approach, we seek to theorise the internal dynamics of international organisations, and, in so doing, to move beyond the dominant coercive and normative perspectives.
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