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Please consider submitting an Abstract to the European Conference on Social
Networks EUSN 2019, September 9-12 in Zurich, Switzerland.

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Title: Evolving Stakeholder Networks

Stakeholder networks (similar concepts are policy networks, governance
networks, collaborative institutions, etc.) can be fragile or temporary in
nature and/or they are dynamic and change over time. For example, a
government or academic agent may assemble a group of diverse stakeholders
for the purpose of discussing, and hence improving the understanding of, a
given environmental problem or set of problems. Similarly, a small group of
locals may invite like-minded individuals along with key ‘experts’ or
decision makers to come together for in-depth discussions around
environmental (or other) topics of mutual concern. Sometimes these groups
and their agendas can be broad in nature, e.g. ‘water management’ or
‘climate change impacts’ and other times, very focused around a particular
problem, issue, or event.

Assembling and maintaining these kinds of networks is often challenging,
but studying them is likewise problematic on a number of fronts. Some
stakeholder networks cease to exist once external support/funding ends;
others change in size and composition as new topics emerge from group
discussions; power conflicts also can impact the composition and longevity
of these groups, or affect their internal structure, again posing problems
for network analysts seeking a stable, clearly defined network for study. This
panel seeks to consider the broad range of challenges and issues that can
arise when studying these kinds of stakeholder networks. Questions papers
might consider include:

·         What are the inherent problems in defining, measuring, gathering
data on and analyzing these kinds of networks?

·         How do these networks pose theoretical challenges and/or
opportunities?

·         What drives changes in these networks overtime?

·         What is the interplay between long- and short lasting networks?

·         Why, how, or should such networks evolve in certain ways, and
under what conditions?

Although this panel is primarily geared towards stakeholder networks
focused around environmental issues (e.g. ecological change, environmental
pollution, environmental justice, natural resource governance, etc.), we
invite papers on other topics as well (e.g. health, crime, infrastructure,
policy, etc.), provided that the emphasis is on the problems/challenges in
studying the creation, evolution and possibly the “evaporation” of
stakeholder networks.

Panel organizers:

Christina Prell (Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen)

Örjan Bodin (Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University)

Lorien Jasny (Department of Politics, University of Exeter)

Manuel Fischer (Environmental Social Sciences, Eawag)

Christian Steglich (Department of Sociology, University of Groningen |
Institute for Analytical Sociology, Linköping University)

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