New chapter on OECD peer reviews to appear in September 2023

Another PROM publication is in the pipeline, this time dealing with peer reviews in the OECD. Beyond the cases of the Economic and Development Review Committee and the Working Group on Bribery covered in the main project, the chapter also looks at the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC). The publication, which is part of an edited volume edited by Claudio Radaelli and Fabrizio de Francesco, will appear in September 2o23.


Publication details:

Conzelmann, T. (2023). Peer reviews in the OECD. In F. de Francesco & C. M. Radaelli (Eds.), The Elgar companion to the OECD (forthcoming). Edward Elgar.


The OECD utilizes peer reviews in most of the policy domains where it has competences. Building on the idea of peer learning, mutual transparency and the search for best practices, peer reviews aim at the alignment of member state policies with international standards. This can happen through benchmarking and collective learning among the peers, or through the more robust techniques of peer and public pressure to push member states towards compliance. The present chapter discusses how peer reviews may create effects at the domestic level and probes into three examples of peer review in the OECD, covering different policy fields and using different approaches. The comparison between them shows differences in the use of different compliance logics and the relative influence of the OECD bureaucracy, the peer states, and the reviewed state. Critics of peer reviews refer to limited effectiveness in triggering policy alignment. This may overlook important indirect effects of peer reviews. Challenges for peer reviews in the OECD are high administrative workload and the organization’s growing and increasingly diverse membership.