Thursday, July 18, 2013

Workshop on Empirical Methods

Swiss Political Science Association, Annual convention 2014, University of Berne

January 30/31, 2014

Submit your abstract!

(Social) Network Analysis has its origins in mathematics and is widely used and further developed in fields as diverse as biology, statistics, sociology and anthropology. More recently, it has been successfully applied in political science – examples include political discourse networks, legislative networks in parliaments, social networks influencing political behaviour, trade networks or policy diffusion among states, or formal models with strategic interactions along network ties. Unlike many other methods, SNA doesn’t treat the dependencies between observations as a mere nuisance to be modeled away, but as the main parameter of interest. Assuming that observations are independent is often highly problematic in social sciences, and SNA thus promises solutions to major challenges for statistical analysis. But it also offers a different lens to look at data, or, in fact, the overall topic of interest.

The advent of “Big Data” has, in the meantime, opened up vast amounts information with an inherent network structure (social media, mapping of web pages, etc), which complement the more traditional approaches of gathering network data through interviews, questionnaires, and document analysis.

The workshop thus welcomes papers that apply such new methods for gathering and analysing political network data (e.g. using exponential random graph or stochastic actor-oriented models), explore the limits of commonly used methods, develop models of strategic interaction within and formation of political networks formally and/or test such models empirically.

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