Ford School hosts fourth annual political networks conference

June 28, 2011

The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy hosted the fourth annual International Political Networks Conference and Workshops from June 14 to 18. The conference dealt with the study of political and social networks -- a field that has seen significant growth in the last twelve years -- and the impact of that study on political science as a whole.

Garry Robins, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne, Australia, gave the keynote address, "Theory and Analysis for Networked Social Systems." Professor Robins' talk summarized his recent research on the relationship between network theory and analysis.

U-M physics professor Mark Newman gave the plenary address, "Epidemics, Influence, and Kevin Bacon: Social Networks meet Network Theory."

Conference co-chair Michael T. Heaney, assistant professor of organizational studies and political science, commented to the Michigan Daily that "It's wonderful to see what this conference has become … I think it's played a very important role in the growth of the study of political networks … and helped political scientists to incorporate many of the tools that have been used by other disciplines in studying networks."

The conference was co-chaired by the Ford School's Phillip Potter and Elisabeth Gerber.

Read the Daily's article about the conference.