Electronic Theses and Dissertations for Graduate School
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Author Last Name
Multilayer Networks in Political Science: Development and Applications of Novel Methods to International Cooperation and Conflict
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Chen, Ted Hsuan
Doctor of Philosophy
Date of Defense:
June 13, 2019
Bruce A Desmarais, Jr., Dissertation Advisor
Bruce A Desmarais, Jr., Committee Chair
Xun Cao, Committee Member
Douglas William Lemke, Committee Member
Diane Helen Felmlee, Outside Member
Interactions between units in political systems often occur across multiple relational contexts. These relational systems feature interdependencies that result in inferential shortcomings and poorly-fitting models when ignored. Advancements in inferential network analysis have improved our ability to understand relational systems featuring interdependence, but developments specific to working with interdependence that cross relational contexts remain sparse. In my dissertation, I introduce a multilayer network approach to modeling systems comprising multiple relations using the exponential random graph model (ERGM). I demonstrate that the multilayer approach improves researchers' ability to better model social and political phenomena as they are intuitively understood, which results in models that more closely reflect observed reality. I apply the multilayer network approach to study two international systems in which interstate cooperation depends on the existence of nonstate actors and informal processes that are normally ignored in statistical studies of international politics. In both cases, I find substantial interdependence between patterns of cooperation among states and among nonstate actors. Together, the methodological and substantive components of my dissertation highlights the need to more carefully consider the impact of nonstate actors on international politics, and presents a way to do so.
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