Dynamics of Mobilization in Political Networks
Posted: 8 Jan 2013 Last revised: 24 Jul 2017
Date Written: November 20, 2012
In times of normalcy, common knowledge of affairs shapes a culture of predictability that is indispensable to political order. During volatile times, as the legitimacy and efficiency of public information disappear, political mobilization is often constrained by limitations of local interaction networks. Learning processes shape the dynamics of diffusion initiated by a radical minority. Social media, in particular, provide long bridges that traverse across the confines of spatial mobilization. The utility of such long ties for mobilization has been a matter of debate. To examine this question, we propose a dynamic stylization of mobilization in political networks, find the steady states of observational and communicative learning dynamics in several canonical network structures and show that sustainable action-cores and radius of diffusion both are highly dependent upon network structure. Most importantly, the existence of long local bridges, often provided via electronic media, can eradicate action-cores and decrease radius of diffusion.
Keywords: Cascade, Collective action, Diffusion, Learning, Mobilization, Network Structure
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