Network analysis – Quo vadis?
This chapter looks back at past analyses and discusses in turn avenues for further research in the field. It provides some insights from a disciplinary perspective rarely involved in network analysis research: law and legal studies. The chapter argues that network analysis is potentially very useful for lawyers, be they practitioners or academics, and could be used for case analysis and training purposes, for example in organised crime and other joint enterprise cases. By analysing the usefulness of network analysis in different crime areas for practitioners and academics, different network analysis approaches could furthermore be developed that fit the various crime areas more specifically. The work done outside the academia often aims to identify the composition and extent of criminal networks, and thus tends to be investigative rather than explanatory in nature. There is therefore a need for an appraisal of the opportunities and challenges inherent in conducting research on criminal networks by examining historical examples.