POLITICAL METHODS: COMPUTATIONAL eJOURNAL

"The Importance of Generative Models for Assessing Network Structure" Free Download

MATTHEW JAMES DENNY, Pennsylvania State University
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Network representations, theories, and methods have emerged as a powerful framework for examining political phenomena at a systems level. This article illustrates the importance of specifying and testing theories about the structure of political networks at multiple levels, and the potential pitfalls of failing to model the processes by which these networks were generated. These pitfalls range from missing important alternative explanations for an observed network structure, to specifying a model which does not test the hypotheses that derive from the researcher’s theory. It then combines these insights into a general framework for assessing the structural properties of political networks. The framework is applied to re-specify an existing political science study that seeks to engage with network concepts. I find that the approach taken in this paper can dramatically affect inferences about the structure of a political system.

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This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts. Papers in this area study the formation, structure and function of networks or apply computational methods or algorithmic game theory to understanding politics.

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POLITICAL METHODS EJOURNALS

DAVID A. LAKE
UC San Diego
Email: dlake@ucsd.edu

MATHEW D. MCCUBBINS
Duke University School of Law
Email: mathew.mccubbins@duke.edu

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