Structure and Evolution of a European Parliament via a Network and Correlation Analysis
15 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2016
Date Written: January 25, 2016
We present a study of the network of relationships among elected members of the Finnish parliament, based on a quantitative analysis of initiative co-signatures, and its evolution over 16 years. To understand the structure of the parliament, we constructed a statistically validated network of members, based on the similarity between the patterns of initiatives they signed. We looked for communities within the network and characterized them in terms of members’ attributes, such as electoral district and party. To gain insight on the nested structure of communities, we constructed a hierarchical tree of members from the correlation matrix. Afterwards, we studied parliament dynamics yearly, with a focus on correlations within and between parties, by also distinguishing between government and opposition. Finally, we investigated the role played by specific individuals, at a local level. In particular, whether they act as proponents who gather consensus, or as signers. Our results provide a quantitative background to current theories in political science. From a methodological point of view, our network approach has proven able to highlight both local and global features of a complex social system.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation