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The session on ‘Network Analysis of Political and Policy-Making Domains’ at the conference ‘Networks in the Global World’, St. Petersburg, July 4-6, 2018 invites abstract submissions until January 15th.

Invited speaker: Nina Kolleck, Freie Universität Berlin

The study of policy and political networks has a distinguished history in the social sciences. David Knoke (1990) identified the theoretical objectives of the field as ranging from explaining and predicting collective policy decisions and outcomes, to exploring how networks form, persist, and change over time. The study of political networks also engages with theories of political influence, aiming to explain how relations among actors can affect their political identity and behavior. The thematic scope of the session includes studies of policy-making and political processes through the network perspective, focusing on relational structures and interactions between governmental and nongovernmental organizations, interest groups, and individuals. From a methodological perspective, such research requires the collection of attribute data about actors, and of relational data determining the ties between them. It is also important to have institutional and social data to contextualize the political framework within which political decisions are made.
The session welcomes papers focusing on, but not limited to, the following aspects of political and policy networks: relations between actors shaping their political attitudes, preferences, and opinions; implications of network structures for actors engaged in contesting and collaborating within specific public policy arenas; cross-country similarities and/or differences in the structure of policy networks; policy network change across different stages of the policy cycle; key players within policy space and privileged network positions, such as brokerage and centrality, reflecting actor political power.
There is a range of open questions emerging from active — and thus to an extent asynchronous — development of theory and methodology of political networks analysis, which paper authors are particularly welcome to address within this session. One of them concerns the evaluation of political weight and power of structurally central actors and groups in the network. This objective related to power and influence theories requires further development of the methodological network tools. Do the combination of network data and survey data, or rankings of influential actors made by magazines, provide sufficient attribute data for modeling power distribution in the network? Is it possible to test hypotheses about interdependence between relational structure and individual characteristics of specific political actors?
Applications addressing topical issues of European societies are particularly welcome.

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To participate in the session, please submit your abstract of up to 300 words before January 15th, 2018 online at http://ngw.spbu.ru/submission, and choose ‘Network Analysis of Political and Policy-Making Domains’ in the session list.

Conference organizers will cover accommodation of MA and PhD students who submit the best abstracts.

You can find the general call for conference papers here: http://www.zdes.spbu.ru/assets/files/NetGloW18_call_for_papers.pdf

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