James Hollway, Graduate Institute Geneva
Multilevel network dynamics and the evolution of complex environmental governance
A key challenge in global environmental politics is how to model the dynamics of complex governance systems. 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, 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.
James Hollway is Assistant Professor of International Relations/Political Science at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. He is associated with the Center for International Environmental Studies, the Center for Trade and Economic Integration, and the Global Governance Center at the Graduate Institute, the Chair of Social Networks at ETH Zürich, the Social Network Analysis Research Center at USI Lugano, the International Environmental Agreements Database, and the Earth System Governance project. His research focuses on international institutions, institutional complexity, political sociology, political methodology, social networks, fisheries governance, and trade governance.