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"Latent Networks and Spatial Networks in Politics"

Dr. Cassy Dorff, Dr. Shahryar Minhas, & Dr. Michael Ward

Cover of "Latent Networks and Spatial Networks in Politics"

Network analysis is a growing field in political science, with topics ranging from the study of individual actors in congressional networks to international war between countries. This chapter briefly summarizes the history of network analysis, the barriers facing previous approaches, and current innovations, with an emphasis on latent variable approaches. These approaches provide an organic link to the consideration of spatial networks, also discussed in detail. These innovations expand researchers’ ability to capture the many different facets of network-motivated questions, including how networks evolve or how spatial proximity determines network ties. The chapter concludes with a brief comparison of two major types of latent variable models and their relation to other network approaches commonly used in political science.

Dorff, Cassy, Shahryar Minhas, & Michael Ward. 2017. "Latent Networks and Spatial Networks in Politics". In The Oxford Handbook of Political Networks, eds. Jennifer Nicoll Victor, Alexander H. Montgomery, and Mark Lubell. Oxford University Press.

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Image: Jacob Moreno’s network map of a second-grade class (ca. ~ 1934), in Latent Networks and Spatial Networks in Politics