Network analysis and geography II: Political Networks

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Urban Geography Specialty Group, Transportation Geography Specialty Group, Media and Communication Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM (MDT)
Room: Evergreen, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Organizers: Michiel Van Meeteren, Justus Uitermark
Chairs: Michiel Van Meeteren


Geographers have conceived of networks as a foundational spatial concept (e.g. Jessop et al 2008; Leitner et al 2008). In spite of this recognition, the adoption of network analysis within contemporary geography has been varied across geographical subdisciplines. This session departs from the conviction that network analysis heralds considerable promise to develop theoretical notions as well as methods that allow us to better understand how spaces are constituted and contested. This session therefore explores the potentials and limitations of network analysis for human geography. Demonstrating the relevance of networks as theoretical constructs, scholars like Michael Mann (1986) and Manuel Castells (1996, 2009) have shown how networks of various kinds are constitutive of social power. Networks of people, corporations, and government officials agglomerate in specific locations, with some agglomerations concentrating more resources and power than others.
Network analysis further provides a rich array of techniques and methods that can capture relations in places and across space. Despite the early adoption of network-analytical techniques by both physical and human geographers during the heyday of the spatial science era (e.g. Haggett and Chorley, 1969), contemporary geographers only make limited use of such technological affordances, with notable exceptions of research on city networks (e.g. Taylor and Derudder, 2016) and digital geographies (Crampton et al. 2013). The growing availability of digital data and the development of advanced techniques for network analysis provide many new opportunities for geography while also raising new issues with respect to research ethics and data validity.
Lastly, network analysis can facilitate conversation across disciplines and subdisciplines. Network analysis provides theoretical notions and techniques that can be used to capture phenomena ranging from social movements and corporate networks to the diffusion of innovation or road infrastructures. Because it provides a common vocabulary, network analysis has the potential to highlight patterns and mechanisms that operate across different fields. While the reduction of complex social relations to a standardized vocabulary offers exciting opportunities, the imposition of network categories can also result in theoretical and political blinders. The session aims to encourage and inspire scholars to theoretically, methodologically, and empirically explore the potentials and limitations of network analysis for geography.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Will Shattuck*, , Smallholders and sahai: the Communist Party of Thailand's lasting impressions on contemporary Thai politics 20 10:00 AM
Presenter Sander van Haperen, University of Amsterdam, Walter J Nicholls, Irivine, Justus Uitermark*, UNIVERSITY OF AMSTERDAM, The anatomy and geography of online protest: The digitally networked #not1more campaign on Twitter 20 10:20 AM
Presenter GrĂ¡inne Nic Lochlainn*, Trinity College Dublin, Networks of counter-power: The geographies of social media in post-financial crisis social movements in Ireland 20 10:40 AM
Presenter Tegan Hall*, University of Sydney, Was the level of city network integration potentially unstable prior to the 15th century transformation of the Khmer Empire? 20 11:00 AM
Discussant Michiel Van Meeteren Vrije Universiteit Brussel 20 11:20 AM

To access contact information login