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Using Network Analysis to Question the Concepts of Centrality and Periphery in Complex Historical Structures

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Abstract

We try to make the link between historical questions related to the concepts of centrality and periphery and certain uses of network analysis and visualization. In the field of global, intellectual or transnational history, the use of the 'network' metaphor to describe the organization of a group of individuals and/or institutions is relatively common. This image of the network, a concept that seems to describe any complex, intricate situation, is particularly suited to historical sciences, whose objects are often divided into several levels, deploy their ramifications in large numbers of clusters and mix different historical sources expressing interpersonal or inter-institutional relations. But can we go beyond the metaphor and put these networks at the center as formal objects? It turns out that graph theory, formal network analysis, is all about finding ways to calculate centrality in graphs. It's up to us to articulate this theory and our historical questions.
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halshs-03012645 , version 1 (18-11-2020)

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  • HAL Id : halshs-03012645 , version 1

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Martin Grandjean. Using Network Analysis to Question the Concepts of Centrality and Periphery in Complex Historical Structures. Cultural Organizations: Between the Local and the Global (1880s-1960s), 2020, Barcelona, Spain. ⟨halshs-03012645⟩
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