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

Abstracts  can be submitted until April 12 on the conference website or on

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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