Jeffrey Broadbent & Philip Vaughter

Social network analysis (SNA) can be used to consider the interactive effects of the social and natural sciences as well as the humanities in such a conjoint way as to enable to the study of societal patterns and dynamics as unified systems of action and change. In contrast to previous attempts at this type of integration, which have remained largely abstract and theoretical and exemplified by anecdotal information, the application of SNA to this effort enables a more empirical and precise analysis of the respective effects of different factors to process and outcome. This unified SNA method can be used to examine any type of societal action, including in this case the production of and response to global climate change. Called Integrative Structurational Analysis (ISA), this method expands upon the traditional application of SNA, which confined itself to the study of relationships among human social actors (persons, groups, organizations, nations, etc.). In addition, the ISA approach incorporates advances in discourse network analysis (DNA) that includes ideas (abstract collective representations of social and natural realities charged with emotion and meaning) as well as actors in the networks. Studied as they emerge, or are channeled, and evolve over time, these patterns are measured as to how they influence outcomes of concern, such as in this case the mitigation of emissions. The on-going international research project Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks (Compon) illustrates the application of this ISA method and approach to the mitigation policy-formation processes of a set of nation-states and one region.

Inter-disciplinary Analysis of Climate Change and Society: A Network Approach
Michael J. Manfredo & Jerry J. Vaske & Andreas Rechkemmer & Esther A. Duke
Book title
Understanding Society and Natural Resources: Forging New Strands of Integration Across the Social Sciences
Page range
Date / Year
Jan 2014
Place of publication
New York