The primary goal of the ‘Networks in the Global World’ conference series in St. Petersburg is to bring together networks researchers from around the globe, to unite the efforts of various scientific disciplines in response to the key challenges faced by network scholarship today, and to exchange original research results – thus enabling analysis of global social processes as well as theoretical and methodological advancements.

NetGloW series took off in 2012, with the conference subtitled “Structural Transformations in Europe, the US and Russia”, and hosted researchers, political practitioners and business representatives from all around the world to highlight the challenges catalyzed by the growing importance of networks in the world and to reflect on these societal transformations. The 2014 event mainly focused on linking theoretical and methodological developments in network analysis. NetGloW’16 thematically revolved around relations between diverse networks. In 2018, the main conference topic was devoted to the principles bringing to life various kinds of networks, dealing with the logics and mechanisms that generate network structures - in Europe and around the world.

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.


Call for proposals to organize sessions, workshops, and round tables.


A selection of conference papers is published as a ‘NetGloW 2020’ volume of the Springer’s ‘Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems’ indexed in Scopus.


You can find the detailed programme of the NetGloW Conference and abstracts here.


Nikita Basov, St. Petersburg University

David Krackhardt, Carnegie Mellon University

Artem Antonyuk, St. Petersburg University

Peng Wang, Swinburne University of Technology

Iina Hellsten, University of Amsterdam

Camille Roth, Humboldt University Berlin

Aleksandra Nenko, NRU ITMO

Svetlana Bodrunova, St. Petersburg University


NetGloW 2018 "Principles behind Structures:Patterns of complexity in European societies and beyond"

NetGloW 2016 "Multiple Structures and Dynamics: Applications of Network Analysis to European Societies and Beyond"

Endorsed by