Department of Computational Social Science Seminar Abstract

Friday, November 30 - 3:00 p.m.
Center for Social Complexity Suite
Third Floor, Research Hall

Toward Networked Views of International Relations

David Masad
CSS PhD Student
George Mason University

Abstract: The world can be viewed as a set of networks. Countries, like individuals, interact with their neighbors and with peers further away, whether by communication, trade, cooperation or conflict. International relations, then, can be analyzed from the perspectives of the networks that make it up, each derived from a different form of interaction.

This presentation will cover research in progress on several networked views of international relations, with a focus on two topics: the arms trade, and the ongoing conflict in Syria. At the interstate level, we examine the networks of UN voting patterns, and major arms transfers, and the connection between them. We also examine the patterns of international Twitter conversations concerning the Syrian civil war, aggregating users up to the country level. Taken together, these approaches begin to suggest a robust, network-based approach to analyzing the complexity of international systems.