Social Networks and Collective Action
Mario Diani (University of Trento, Italy) & Nina Eggert (University of Antwerp, Belgium)
Different research traditions have studied collective action through the lens of social network analysis. At the organizational level, community power studies and policy field studies have devoted considerable attentions to networks and their effect on institutional collective decision-making; organizational studies have looked at business organizations’ embeddedness in broader fields as an important factor behind their effectiveness and performance; social movement scholars have focused on civil society organizations’ networks and individual networks to analyze more contentious collective action dynamics. Yet, these traditions have mostly developed in separate ways, rarely acknowledging the fact that both institutional and contentious forms of collective action may take place within the same organizational and individual networks.
This session aims at discussing network dynamics and mechanisms in various forms of collective action. We invite contributions that analyze collective action fields from a network perspective, with a focus on issues such as how individuals and organizations contribute to the structure of fields, how formal and informal relations combine, how communities are created through cultural practices of individuals. Our aim is to contribute to bridging the gap between institutional and non-institutional actors. Contributions exploring the multiplexity of collective action networks, integrating theory with empirical evidence, and/or offering a comparative perspective are particularly welcome.