Knowledge and praxis of networks as a political project

16 09 2008


Here is a draft waiting commentaries.




Modern day society is increasingly described as an extensive web of networks, but as such, it is often perceived and experienced as elusive. In light of this paralyzing description, this article aims at highlighting the potentially political dimension of network analysis, namely as defined in the social sciences, and a deeper look at the notion of networks itself. It will show that a political project could, in this case, be built on the desire to know this reticular world better but also to be able to act appropriately towards it.

Three steps are proposed to specify how such a political project could be built. The first step aims at deploying a knowledge of networks and emphasizes the usefulness of a procedure to trace them. The second step shows the possibilities that this knowledge offers, particularly in allowing one to find one’s bearings in a world which is frequently described as veering towards an increasing complexity, and by helping to rebuild the selection criteria for connections in this world, thanks to an additional degree of reflexivity. The third step draws on these points to invite the reader to imagine the intervention capacities in network configurations.


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P.S.: A slightly extended version is published in 21st Century Society (Journal of the Academy of Social Sciences), Volume 4, Issue 3, November 2009.




One response

7 03 2009
Discover The Networks - Reticular Guerilla Edition | The Global Sociology Blog

[…] a different line of discussion in this thread on Polanyi’s relevance. Rumpala linked to his post that itself refers to a manuscript available for download. It is this manuscript that I’d […]

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