Network Analysis

This page focuses on network analysis, a method based on graph theory and statistics, which provides a rigorous, systematic approach to studying how relations and their structuring influence social-ecological systems (SES). The content on this page discusses how different network analysis metrics, including centrality, diameter, clustering coefficient, density and reciprocity, can be used to understand SES questions. 

The Chapter summary video gives a brief introduction and summary of this group of methods, what SES problems/questions they are useful for, and key resources needed to conduct the methods. The methods video/s introduce specific methods, including their origin and broad purpose, what SES problems/questions the specific method is useful for, examples of the method in use and key resources needed. The Case Studies demonstrate the method in action in more detail, including an introduction to the context and issue, how the method was used, the outcomes of the process and the challenges of implementing the method. The labs/activities give an example of a teaching activity relating to this group of methods, including the objectives of the activity, resources needed, steps to follow and outcomes/evaluation options.

More details can be found in Chapter 23 of the Routledge Handbook of Research Methods for Social-Ecological Systems.

Chapter summary:

This video introduces the concept of Network Analysis.

Method Summaries

Network Analysis Method Summary

Luna-Gonzalez, D.V., Zhivkoplias, E. & Ngadze, F. (2022)

Case Studies

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Lab teaching/ activity

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Tips and Tricks

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Key Publications related to Network Analysis:
  • Barabási, A-L. n.d. Network Science. (Online and free).
  • Bodin, Ö., and B. Crona. 2008. ‘Community-Based Management of Natural Resources – Exploring the Role of Social Capital and Leadership in a Rural Fishing Community.’ World Development 36(12): 2763–2779.
  • Bodin, Ö., and M. Tengö. 2012. ‘Disentangling Intangible Social-Ecological Systems.’ Global Environ-mental Change 22(2): 430–439. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2012.01.005.
  • Gonzalez, A., P. Thompson, and M. Loreau. 2017. ‘Spatial Ecological Networks: Planning for Sustain-ability on the Long-term.’ Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 29: 187–197.
  • Wasserman, S., and K. Faust. 1994. Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.