chapter  15
15 Pages

Social network analysis


Social thinkers today are taking important steps from conceiving the social world in terms of substances and ‘things’ towards conceiving it in terms of processes and unfolding relations. Network approaches are at the core of this movement towards relational thinking. The chapter discusses Social Network Analysis (SNA) as more than a mere ‘method’, and argues that it belongs to a family of analytical strategies for the study of how resources, goods, events, or positions fl ow through a particular confi guration of social ties. We show how the critical potential of network analysis grows from: (re)materialisations, interstitial thinking, and thinking across scales and strata of reality. In International Relations, the potential of network thinking rests in its creative disturbance of state-centric visions. 1

On completion, readers should be able to:

• understand the theoretical assumptions underlying network analysis; • evaluate the appropriateness of a network analysis framework for research conducted in

the fi eld of critical Security Studies; • formulate questions relevant for critical Security Studies while using a network analysis

approach and its technical toolkit.