Longitudinal Network Analysis of the European Social Space

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
JWS - Room J7 (J361) (University of Glasgow)
Emanuel Deutschmann , Otto-von-Guericke-University of Magdeburg
Jan Delhey , Otto-von-Guericke-University of Magdeburg
Monika Verbalyte , Otto-von-Guericke-University of Magdeburg
Following the ideas of relational sociology (Emirbayer 1997) and transactionalism theory (Deutsch 1953), we suggest to conceptualize Europe as a network of people’s transactions and communication. Since EU-Europe as a social space is constantly changing and evolving, the main interest of this paper lies in the temporal development of the European network: (1) Is it getting denser over time, i.e. do European people have more interactions with each other, largely in parallel to the progressing political integration process? (2) Did the various EU enlargments make the network tighter or looser? (3) Are there differences in the network structure for different transactions and communication? (4) And lastly, how „closed“ is the European network in comparison to networks in other world regions, i.e. is it a specific product of the political integration of Europe or does it reflect general globalization trends?

To answer these questions, we use methods of social network analysis and conduct analyses on different sorts of transnational human activities, mainly mobility and communication, based on process-generated statistics. We focus on European countries, but occasionally compare Europe to other world regions.