Network Analysis of Political Power
(joint session with IPSA RC36)

3rd European Conference on Social Networks (EUSN)
Johannes-Gutenberg-University Mainz (Germany)
September 26-29, 2017

Room: P207 (02 463P207) – 03:35 pm
Alina Vladimirova (Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences)

An Approach to the Study of Power Based on the Concepts of Duality and Structural Equivalence

Reyes Herrero | Universidad Complutense de Madrid | Spain

The empirical study of power has been a longstanding issue for political science, being the agency vs. structure dilemma the mail pitfall where different empirical approaches have failed. Social Network Analysis have burst into the debate with an alternative framework where the agency-structure dichotomy can be resolved and power can be properly described and measured in empirical terms. Measures of power have mainly developed as measures of centrality, and these measures of centrality provide on the other hand the means for the definition of particular features of networks as possibilities for control, influence, power… The aim of this study is to discuss how different strategies of analysis other than centrality can help to shed a different light in the conceptualization of power. In particular, duality and structural equivalence can be used to define power as a particular kind of structure rather than a particular kind of relation.

Normative Power in the Asia-Pacific Region: Network Analysis of Free Trade Agreements

Alina Vladimirova | Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences | Russian Federation

As new power centers are rising in the Asia-Pacific region, more policymakers, academics, and journalists are engaged in heated discussions on who and how is able to rewrite rules of international relations. Attention to these questions is growing especially after USA withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in January 2017. Is there a country that can promote values and norms effectively at least in the context of regional economic integration? If China aims to become as successful as the “normative power Europe”, does it possess of such abilities? Is “ASEAN centrality” a mere theoretical concept or this organization members have enough influence in the region? In this paper we suggest to use data on 228 Free Trade Agreements that took place in 1975-2016 for a network model to study emerging structures and test hypothesizes on normative power.

Centrality and Power: Network Analysis of Interstate Military Conflicts

Fuad Aleskerov | National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) | Russia
Maria Kurapova | National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) | Russia
Sergey Shvydun | National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) | Russia

Contemporary international relations are a complex system with a large number of political actors interacting in a single environment. The analysis of political processes at the global level requires considering the diverse influences of all of these actors. Network analysis is a method that allows us to identify the most powerful actors in different networks by finding the most influential nodes (centrality measure). Classic indicators of centrality have several disadvantages for networks where the actors are the States. They do not allow considering features of actors and indirect interactions between them. The solution to this problem is a pressing issue in network analysis and its development as a research method in political science. In this work we use two classical centrality indices (Eigenvector and Page Rank) and new indices of centrality (Short-Range Interaction Centrality and Long-Range Interaction Centrality) which consider country characteristics and indirect interactions between countries. Classic and new indices are applied to the empirical data about interstate conflicts. We model interstate conflicts as a network, where nodes are countries and edges are a fact of conflict. The intensity of interaction in a network is intensity of the conflict (by battle-related deaths). The network of interstate conflicts covers a wide period of time and considers conflicts in different regions of the world. We reveal the most powerful countries for a certain periods by application of centrality indices.

The BRIC phantom: ‘globalization’, mobility and structural change to the global power system, 1965 – 2005

Lindsay Marie Jacobs | Belgium

The dominant perception in scholarly communities and popular opinion is that a number of formerly less powerful countries including the BRICS, have enhanced their global power to the extent that it now rivals that of the traditionally core powers. Serious doubts can be raised, however, to what countries are genuinely ‘rising to power’, as well as to the extent of this rise. Our work draws social network analysis (SNA) to propose a method for the measurement of countries’ level of ‘prominence’ in the global power system. These measures are then used to analyze the rise of the BRICS within the structural evolution of this system between 1965 – 2005. A large focus here is on the role played by mobility and ‘globalization’.