Networks research is still highly topical. Contemporary studies in economics, sociology and management science have enhanced our understanding of the antecedents and consequences of network embeddedness, actors’ strategic positioning and pattern formation processes at higher aggregation levels.
The strong interest in networks is easily explained: nearly all kind of socio-economic systems can be represented adequately by a well-defined set of nodes and ties among these nodes. The broad spectrum of network types ranges from inter-bank networks, corporate ownership networks and supply chains to friendship networks and advice networks and to inter-personal inventor networks and inter-organisational innovation networks. The developments in network research have been fueled by the recognition of complex systems as a subject of scientific inquiry, rapid progress in theory building and methodological advances in areas such as quantitative network analysis, networks, games, agent-based modelling and econometrics.
However, when it comes to an in-depth understanding of how and why networks evolve over time and how these "dynamics of networks" affect the actors involved, we still face more questions than answers. For instance, we know little about how micro-level events among cooperating actors affect the emergence of typical real-world patterns at higher aggregation levels like, for instance, small-world structures, scaling properties and core-periphery patterns. Both theoretical models and the typically applied methodological instruments are still unable to explain the phenomenon comprehensively.
The same holds true when it comes to "dynamics on networks". The spread of information and the transfer of knowledge among network actors are highly important, particularly in the context of inventor and innovation networks. The identification of shortest paths and the analysis of diffusion problems is anything but new. Mathematicians and game theorists have addressed these issues. However, games on networks are by orders of magnitude more complex than simple integrated two-player games. This is why numerical and stochastic simulation techniques became the methodological instruments of choice.
Many papers in IJCEE and other publications have laid important groundwork for an in-depth understanding of networks, not only in theoretical and methodological terms but also by providing a rich set of empirical results. Now the time has come to discuss new findings on the dynamic nature of networks in economics and dedicate a special issue of IJCEE to the topic: "dynamics of and on networks".
For this special issue we welcome theoretical and empirical contributions addressing questions such as: How do innovation networks form and evolve? Which mechanisms are responsible for their characteristics? How do inter-firm networks affect the stability of economic systems? What are the consequences of cascading failures for the structural stability of the system? Which processes can be used to model these dynamics? How do networks shape technological and economic dynamics? Or, perhaps more importantly, how do technological and economic dynamics shape the networks? How can we model and analyse network diffusion processes? How do knowledge transfer and diffusion processes affect the performance of the actors involved?
While the focus on “dynamics of and on networks” constitutes the core of this issue, related theoretical contributions as well as econometric, explorative and experimental analyses complementing the theme are welcome. Priority will be given to papers applying an interdisciplinary theoretical perspective and/or a novel methodological approach.
The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the 27th Annual EAEPE Conference and 1st EAEPE RA[X] Workshop on “New Frontiers and Methodological Advances in Cooperation and Network Research”, but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
- Applications of network theory to economics, including theoretical and exploratory studies of their role in economic systems
- Network formation, structural change and dynamic networks
- Structural stability of networks and other complex systems
- Dynamic processes on networks (e.g. diffusion and knowledge transfer)
- Structuration processes in social and economic systems
- Theoretical, econometric, explorative, game theoretical, experimental analyses as well as agent-based models and numerical or stochastic simulation approaches
Manuscript submission deadline: 30 September, 2016