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Dear Socnetters,


Consider submitting your relevant work to the ‘Network Analysis of Political and Policy-Making Domains’ session of the ‘Networks in the Global World’ conference (St. Petersburg, July 7–9, 2020).

Deadline: February 10, 2020.

Chair: Artem Antonyuk, St. Petersburg University

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 the interdependence between the relational structure as a variable that determines, or is affected by, the individual characteristics of specific political actors?

Among other widely discussed issues is the question of how multimodal data on policy networks may provide substantive insights into policy analysis. The main methodological problem concerns processing of multimodal network data and choice of appropriate network measures. The theoretical problems are the interpretation of the outcomes of multimodal data analysis in relation to the field of policy network research, and possible applications within other domains of political studies. The session particularly welcomes papers dealing with these problems as well as applications addressing topical issues of European societies.


Find a full description of the session here: http://ngw.spbu.ru/programme.

The Fifth Biannual International Conference ‘Networks in the Global World’ will be held with support from International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA), International Sociological Association (ISA), and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) at St. Petersburg University.

Conference call for abstracts is available here: https://zdes.spbu.ru/images/Call_for_abstracts_NetGloW_2020.pdf.

Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to submit full papers before June 1, 2020 to be published in the ‘NetGloW 2020’ volume of the Springer’s ‘Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems’ indexed in Scopus: https://www.springer.com/series/15179.

Note that citizens of most of the European countries can get an electronic visa to St. Petersburg for up to 8 days online, see: http://ngw.spbu.ru/practical.

Find out more about NetGloW’20 on the official website of the conference: http://ngw.spbu.ru.

Best wishes,



Artem Antonyuk

Junior researcher in Sociology, St. Petersburg University

Research fellow, Centre for German and European Studies, St. Petersburg University – Bielefeld University

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