Network governance in international organizations: Lessons from World Bank trust funds
Martin Steinwand | Stony Brook University
International Relations scholars pay increasing attention to markets as a driver of international cooperation. For example, market principles have become an integral part of donor policies in the area of development policy, with Anglo-Saxon donors promoting market norms such as ‘value for money’. An important feature of this is that likeminded actors actively cooperate in the promotion of marked oriented development policies. In this article, we use network analysis to explore patterns of collaboration between donors through trust funds. These funds are ad-hoc policy venues and financing vehicles hosted by international organizations that allow like-minded donors to support joint priority areas. In a first step, we describe the network of donor cooperation that emerges through the use of joint trust funds and explore how this network varies with different types of funds. We expect that cooperative donor networks are particularly likely to emerge in sectors that allow for easy attribution of results (e.g. education, health, and emergencies) and that adopt private sector principles in their governance. Moreover, trust funds differentially drive international cooperation, depending on the political economy of donor countries. We then test market-based explanations for donor collaboration using ERGM analysis. Our project contributes to the study of international cooperation by mapping donor political economies to networks of donor cooperation. It contributes to the vibrant literature on foreign aid fragmentation and donor cooperation by systematically analyzing cooperation patterns from a network perspective, and offering a domestic policy based explanation for the formation of network ties. Our paper directly relates to the theme of the ‘Political Networks’ session, as it focuses on how states interact beyond codified international institutions and formal hierarchical political procedures. The network perspective provides an important innovation, as it provides an account of how cooperation can arise in a decentralized and spontaneous fashion, as well as accounting for higher-order interdependencies between donor states. It therefore uniquely contributes to our understanding of how states cooperate and how relational performance shapes foreign aid choices.
Mapping the Community Structure of Far-Right Movements in the Czech Republic and Germany
Ina Schmidt | Masaryk University | Czech Republic
With the arrival of large numbers of refugees to Europe, far-right movements are confronted with an in their perception common enemy, which fosters, according to theories of social movement cooperation, the rise of cross-movement cooperation. The changing circumstances require a renewed mapping of the interactions between these movements, for which their internet presence and networking provide a valuable source as the internet is of central importance for the communication within and among these movements.
The contribution contains a social network analysis (SNA) of the online network of far-right movements in the Czech Republic and Germany, considering both their national and international cooperation. These two countries represent very different contexts, a high-income Western democracy and a post-communist, post-transitional regime, where different patterns of communication and networking might be expected. The analysis is based on the assumption that weak ties serve to connect various tightly linked communities that contain large numbers of stronger ties, which establishes the expectation of identifying dense national communities connected by weaker international ties. The SNA is based on a mixed methods research. Firstly, a weighted, oriented hyperlink network is extracted. Secondly, content analysis of the web pages is used to get a deeper understanding of the nature of the ties. Lastly, standard descriptive and exploratory measures, such as community detection, are used for mapping of structural properties of the network.
Modelling multilevel network dynamics and the evolution of complex environmental governance
James Hollway | Graduate Institute Geneva | Switzerland
A key challenge in political networks is how to model the dynamics of complex governance systems such as that governing the environment. These systems consist of complex patterns of ties between and among actors and the institutions they establish to govern their relationship to the environment. These ties are interdependent in three ways: socially, temporally, and across levels. Dynamic Network Actor Models (DyNAMs) offer an actor-oriented statistical network model for studying the kind of time-stamped relational data that is becoming increasingly common in political science. In this paper, we argue that DyNAMs take an actor-oriented perspective that is straightforward to interpret and make full use of available temporal information to improve the precision of inference about network dependencies. We also propose an extension that enables the investigation of network dynamics across multiple levels. This enables new questions to be answered, such as when actors choose to reinforce existing ties instead of creating new ones or are influenced by historical ties. We demonstrate the value of this model using networks drawn from a novel dataset on interstate cooperation on global environmental issues that includes comprehensive information on cooperative agreements' start and end dates.