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Who Says Networks, Says Oligarchy? Oligarchies as "Rich Club" Networks

Ansell, C; Bichir, R; Zhou, S; (2016) Who Says Networks, Says Oligarchy? Oligarchies as "Rich Club" Networks. Connections - Official Journal of the International Network for Social Network Analysis , 35 (2) pp. 20-32. 10.17266/35.2.2. Green open access

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Abstract

Departing from Roberto Michels's classic analysis of oligarchy, we provide a structural analysis of the concept based on social network analysis. We de ne oligarchy as a social network that exhibits three structural properties: tight interconnections among a small group of prominent actors who form an "inner circle"; the organization of other actors in the network through the intermediation of this inner circle; and weak direct connections among the actors outside the inner circle. We treat oligarchy as a global property of social networks and offer an approach for measuring the oligarchical tendencies of any social network. Our main contribution is to operationalize this idea using a "rich club" approach. We demonstrate the ef cacy of this approach by analyzing and comparing several urban networks: Sao Paulo urban infrastructure networks and Los Angeles and Chicago transportation policy networks.

Type: Article
Title: Who Says Networks, Says Oligarchy? Oligarchies as "Rich Club" Networks
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.17266/35.2.2
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.17266/35.2.2
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: oligarchy, rich clubs, policy networks, urban networks
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1497043
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