The main theme of the fifth NetGloW held in 2020 engages with the notion of context. It is the context that largely molds understanding of a specific relation and, thereby, of a particular network. We propose to discuss different types of networks – would these be personal, symbolic, material-object, organizational, urban, regional, or state networks – in their situational, cultural, historical, institutional, temporal, spatial and professional contexts. Conference participants are invited to reflect, on the one hand, how within and across these and numerous other kinds of contexts networks are defined, interpreted, operated and inhabited and, on the other hand, how networks affect and transform their contexts in return. On top of that, various types of networks comprise the contexts of each other, thus defining each other and co-evolving, like cultural networks express the meaning of interpersonal ties which, in turn, mold them as individuals negotiate meanings. We encourage papers on theoretical conceptualizations of the interplay between networks and their contexts, on the methods to incorporate peculiarities of contexts in network analysis – especially those drawing on interpretive approaches, mixed techniques and subjective meanings of research participants – and on substantive applications examining networks in specific empirical contexts. Papers utilizing data on European societies or dealing with issues topical for Europe are particularly welcomed.
The core subject areas of the NetGloW conference series remain the same in 2020, as well as the overall approach: The focus on advances in network analysis combining different types of methods and data to address the challenges in studying various kinds of networks, compared across cultures, societies, states, economies, and cities, – with a primary focus on European societies. Like before, a particular emphasis is on linkages between theory, method and applications, considering how theory-driven principles can be tested and which settings are suitable for such investigations. The conference will offer a coherent set of sessions and workshops corresponding to this overall approach. Simultaneously, once more NetGloW invites proposals from the community of network scholars on sessions and workshops they would like to bring to the conference, both in line with the proposed main topic and in addition to it.