In this class students will look at sustainability transitions from an actor-perspective, which means acknowledging that a variety of stakeholders are involved in complex projects or processes that promote transitions.
Students will acquire knowledge about a) how to identify relevant stakeholders, b) categorize them, and c) analyse their roles and interdependencies.
Students will apply the acquired knowledge by replicating a network analysis of cases from sustainability transitions.
A variety of stakeholders and policymakers are involved in the design and implementation of socio-technical transitions. Especially in our western democracies, single actors do not have enough steering capacity or decision-making power to create change on their own. Instead, a variety of private and public actors collaborate in decision-making processes, thereby creating networks of actors. Stakeholder analysis and social network analysis are methods that can help to gain an overview about actors, their relations to one another, roles, or power dependencies.
This course provides a practical introduction into the analysis of stakeholders and their social networks. With social network analysis, students can go beyond the analysis of individual stakeholders and incorporate the structural patterns of social relations (networks) that connect individual actors. For example, students can study the functioning of policy networks or socio-ecological systems, the emergence of trust-building and social capital, or the exchange of information.
The course provides a brief overview about possible fields of application of social networks analysis in research. It also gives a general introduction to the concepts of social network analysis including structural properties (such as density, homophily, or clustering) and the identification of special network positions through centrality measures. Moreover, the course covers a practical application of a stakeholder and social network analysis.