Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology

Networks and participation

Networks and participation: Promoting trust and sustainable cooperation

Social networks – the webs of personal relationships in friendships, online interactions, or trust – are pivotal for sustainable cooperation in communities, organizations and political entities. But networks can also be a major source of conflict and ineffectiveness. Structures of social networks are, moreover, highly important for individuals in searching jobs, housing, partners, or business opportunities. This research cluster develops theories and methods on how social networks form and how they affect participation, trust and cooperation in a range of domains.

The general aim is to unravel how social networks are part of both the genesis of and solution to social problems.

Research in this line aims to show how and under which conditions networks foster trust, integration and cooperation in markets, organizations, communities and on the Internet. Similarly, this research cluster furthers our understanding of how social structures are established and how embeddedness of interactions in networks helps sustain cooperative relations in which social actors successfully achieve common ends and resist temptations to disrupt cooperation by egoistic behavior.

Key Publications

  • Buskens, V., & Raub, W. (2013) Rational choice social research on social dilemmas: Embeddedness effects on trust. Pp. 113-150 in R. Wittek,  Tom A.B. Snijders (2017). Stochastic Actor-Oriented Models for Network Dynamics. Annual Review of Statistics and its Application, 4, 343-363.

  • Mäs, M., Flache, A., Takács, K. & Jehn, K. (2013). In the short term we divide, in the long term we unite: Demographic crisscrossing and the effects of faultlines on subgroup  polarization. Organization Science 24, 716–736.

  • Norbutas, L., & Corten, R. (2018). Network structure and economic prosperity in municipalities: a large-scale test of social capital theory using social media data. Social networks, 52, 120-134.

  • Przepiorka, W., Norbutas, L., & Corten, R. (2017). Order without law: Reputation promotes cooperation in a cryptomarket for illegal drugs. European Sociological Review, 33(6), 752-764.

  • Munniksma, A., Scheepers, P., Stark, T. H., & Tolsma, J. (2016). The impact of adolescents’ classroom and neighborhood ethnic diversity on same-and cross-ethnic friendships within classrooms. Journal of Research on Adolescence. DOI: 10.1111/jora.12248

Coordinators: Rense Corten, Andreas Flache

In the spotlight

ORA-grant for project “ToRealSim Towards realistic computational models of social influence dynamics”

Andreas Flache (RUG), Michael Mäs (RUG) & Tom snijders (RUG) receive an ORA-grant of 1.2 million Euro.

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