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date: 09 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This volume is meant to be a foundational resource on the study of networks in politics. This introductory chapter sets the stage for the chapters in this volume, which revolve around three central questions: What is political network analysis? How does it provide insight into important political phenomena? Why is it crucial for all political analysts to engage in network analysis? The opening argument is that networks are crucial for the study of politics and can bridge the micro-macro divide. After providing a brief history of the application of networks in political science, this chapter engages in a visual analysis of the development of the literature on political networks. This investigation shows the cross-cutting ties among academic subfields and highlights the central contributions to the literature. It also provides an overview of the chapters and concludes with the editors’ thoughts on the future of political network analysis.

Keywords: social network analysis, relational analysis, political science, data science, political methodology, statistics, interdisciplinary methods

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