Benjamin Campbell, PhD Candidate in Political Science, was the recipient of thethe "Best Poster in Methodology Award" at the Political Networks conference in June 2018. Campbell also has a forthcoming article in Political Analysis. Campbell's work focuses on using theoretical motivation and the tools of Data science to uncover meaningful insights about social phenomena. An asbtract of his poster presentation is below and more information about his research can be found on his website. Congratulations Benjamin!
Abstract: Network analysis has become increasingly concerned with understanding the structural properties of networks, such as whether the friend of my friend is my friend, or whether birds of a feather flock together. Unfortunately, modern approaches to network analysis treat all actors as having the same motivations for forming relationships. To fix this problem, I introduce a new framework for understanding variation in how, why, and when actors form relationships.
This is important as it allows us to shed light on a variety of important questions, including one explored in my dissertation. Countries have long been thought to form military alliances to defend against foreign threats. My dissertation instead argues that countries may form alliances for a variety of reasons, such as consolidating relationships or pushing allies to adopt domestic reforms.