Croatian International Relations Review

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Veronika Valkovičová

The aim of this article is to explore the conceptualisation of benchmarking, ranking and good practice sharing tools within European Union gender equality policymaking. In the first part, the article looks at these soft law measures applied within intergovernmental cooperation. Stemming from the extensive body of literature, the study approaches these measures as a form of scientific knowledge, which is diversely applied within policymaking. Next, the article directs various points of criticism at these policymaking tools through different variables that may hinder knowledge use. The second section of this article further focuses on the Open Method of Coordination and the role of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) in relation to gender equality policies. The empirical part of this article is focused on the criticism of EIGE’s External Evaluation Report and the different conceptualisations of scientific knowledge use which are presented within this audit document. As such, this article aims to contribute to a new conceptualisation of the technocratic tools of benchmarking, ranking and good practice sharing within the highly ideological area of gender equality policies.