Analyses of Elite Networks

  • Franziska Barbara Keller


Social network analysis (SNA) provides important tools and methods for researchers of political elites on four issues: elite interactions, identifying elite groups and their social structure, measuring elite power, and defining elites. Researchers can examine different factors influencing interactions among elites while properly accounting for the interdependent nature of such data using exponential random graph models (ERGMs) and stochastic actor-based models (SOAMs). Visualizations and community-finding algorithms allow the detection of groups, core members, cleavages, and polarization/fractionalization in this interaction network. Powerful elites can be identified through centrality measures, which also help distinguish between different types of influence. SNA research on nomination networks and on sampling in networks, particularly on more principled snowball-sampling methods, could help expose biases in the way researchers determine whom to include in their study.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franziska Barbara Keller
    • 1
  1. 1.Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyClear Water BayHong Kong

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