Network Structures in Germany, Europe and Russia

This research area corresponds to the growing role of heterogeneous network structures which bind together individuals, organisations, regions and states in present day society. The structural transformations it brings to science, education, business, politics and other spheres in Germany, Europe and Russia require joint efforts of the various scientific perspectives within the field of network analysis. 

The area includes two main research avenues. The first one jointly studies semantic and communication networks. It is focused on how evolution of knowledge and cultural meaning structures is linked to transformations of social relations between individuals, organizations and other agents, which is particularly relevant in the context of knowledge societies emergence in Europe and Russia. 
The second research avenue is focused on creativity and innovation questioning how new ideas emerge, develop and get implemented into objects, structures and processes. Those questions are addressed using network-analytical approach at inter-personal, inter-group, and inter-organizational levels comparing cases in Germany, Europe and Russia, as well as analyzing geospatial aspects of these networks which spread across state and regional borders, and thus link regions and states of Eurasia. 

Research work in this area is primarily organized within a 4-year interdisciplinary international research project "Co-evolution of Knowledge and Communication Networks: Structural Dynamics of Creative Collectives in European Cultural Capitals (2014-2017)", co-funded by the Russian scientific foundation for Humanities and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (the President’s Grant). This project explores the internal mechanisms of social and cultural dynamics of creative collectives applying mixed methods to rich longitudinal ethnographic, interview and textual data on five large European cities: St. Petersburg, Barcelona, Madrid, Hamburg and London.

The project is run in extensive collaboration with European researchers in Germany, Spain, UK, the Netherlands, and France. It also involves scholars from around the world, including USA, Australia, and Canada. Multiple mobilities and scientific exchange events between Russia, Germany, and Europe are organized as part of the project. 

A number of outreach activities are supplementing the research in this area, including special international project workshops, events on related topics, and presentations at other events worldwide. Closely related to this research area are three high-profile international events organized by the CGES in 2016: an International Conference “Networks in the Global World 2016” at St. Petersburg; an organized session on “Socio-Semantic Networks” at 36th International Sunbelt Social Network Conference; and a roundtable “Community vs difference: Network analyses of interpersonal relations and cultures sharing in art groups” within the framework of the 9th Midterm Conference of RN-Sociology of the Arts.


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