Political networks play a fundamental role in shaping the American politics. Arguably, networks model how citizens accept and construe political information. As such, social network’s ties may prompt a nation’s citizen to vote. Moreover, they impinge on legislative cooperation of party cooperation; bill supports across contending faction and social factions’ cooperation across coalition boundaries. As such, if the political networks will not be put under consideration, it would affect the flow of information: coordination, cooperation in informal organization, and coordination in multiple levels of trust (Heaney & McClurg, 2009). Therefore, with retrospect to American politics, applicable community survey should be put in place for better understanding peer-to-peer relationships, as well as establish the ties present in the American society.
Additionally, disagreement in the networks results to people to deliberate, but not participate in the voting process. Subsequently, the problem of reciprocal causation occurs in the case where disagreement may influence political behavior, but pointer exists from those behaviors back to disagreement. Moreover, power will not be relational and it will not exist when the interaction between and among people and groups will not be put into consideration. As such, this paper seeks to establish the importance of political network in the contemporary U.S. politics, as well as explore practical approaches to observing the effect in political networks.
Lasswell (1936) defines politics as “who gets what, when, and how- conflict is inevitable” any political processes with retrospect to political network. Nonetheless, the conflict seems to be a part of political, the most disliked by the average American citizens. As such, in the realm of political behavior, a topical revitalization of interest in disagreement stems from normative theories of political reflection that presents a diverse view of how envoy democracy functions efficiently. According to Lasswell, “though, liberal democratic theories emphasize the need for individuals to be educated and civically engaged in order to be politically active, deliberative theories center on combined processes as well as the exchange of viewpoints” (Lasswell, 1936).
SNA presents measures of the constraints of the actors’ dependent not only on their own relation, but also the way in which the actors relate. Thus, embedding actors within the interaction follow for insight on the distribution of power as well as the efficient effect on political and social actions. Arguably, all political interactions can be viewed with reference to the network terms. This attributes to the fact that network accounts for the relations between the actors. Undoubtedly, formal network analysis helps in the examination of individuals within their institutional and relational contacts. Certainly, some sociologists scrutinize all interactions relating to individuals, politics and society as reliant on their networks.
Investigation of American politics has increasingly turned to political network analysis in order to understand the public opinion, the diffusion of policy ideas, the party factions, the interest group coalitions, and the voting behavior. Whereas the association of political network is dominant, clear causal inferences are often difficult to make.
The robust association between politics and political behaviors empirically instituted; but finding the exact nature of the causal relationship between politics and network is a more challenging endeavor. Arguably, institutional network as well as coalition models over time by political actors with self-centered political purposes in mind. Thus, individuals may choose their associates and friends in part, due to the agreement on political issues as well as involvement in politics. Consequently, the premeditated nature of relationship formation in politics may make concerns regarding the causal direction of pragmatic relationship; somewhat more pronounced in comparison to not-explicitly-political social networks (e.g. sexual network and patent-citation networks).
Network exerts a causal effect on political behavior in the case that an exogenous modification of the network results in an alteration and in political behavior. For instance, if an individual has a network of friends who talk about politics, and then one more politically interested persons joins the network, without any other changes in the ego situation. Therefore if, ego shifts from having a moderate level of interest in politics to have a slightly higher level of interest in politics than ego discussion network can be termed to have a causal effect on its interest in politics.
With retrospect to Henry Brady who disputes that causal arguments are stronger to the extent that they present four elements. These elements are constant conjunction of causes as well as effects; no effect when the cause is absent in the numerous familiar world to where the cause is present and an effect after cause manipulation. Additionally, it includes identification of activities and processes linking causes and effects (Brady, 2008).
There has been a renaissance of the aspects in the investigation of the effect of peer networks on vote choice, social communication, expertise, racial attitudes and disagreement (Huckefeldt, 1995). As such, the applicability of the community-related survey claims that Americans are increasingly “bowling alone” and replacing neighborhood social interaction with the online social community (Putnam, 2000). Specifically, in the case that the respondent are more likely to have discussion partners that are geographically distant, the knowhow of the respondent’s geography is not enough to control the information they would acquire from peers. Homophily documents are the phenomenon within social relationship, where a propensity for people to form social ties with others who are similar to them. As such, homophily is most probable to happen with retrospect to race, ethnicity, age, religion, occupation, and gender (McPherson, 2001). Consequently, people are likely to form ties with others that have a similar number of friends (Huckfeldt, 2009).
Providently, homophily fails to characterize all of an individual’s social relationship, as many social ties formed on the availability, and not solely on personal choice (Volker & Flap, 2007). It is thus probable that an individual will opt some of his/her peers based on shared politics. Classification of peers affects is only possible when there is some fraction of discussants. The individuals related upon availability-relationship selection devoid of shared political predilections. Causal political network would be observed in the case when the personal characteristics correlate with politics. The shared characteristics observed permit the control of selected relationship.
As formulated by Dahl (1969), power is when person A gets person B to do something that he or she would not otherwise do in his or her own; it is clear that power is relational and it exists when consideration of the interaction between and among the people and groups is seen. Crozier (1980) conceptualizes power: “power can be developed only through exchange among the actors in a given relation.”
Consequently, Barazt asks “the researcher overlook the chance that some person or association could limit decision-making to relatively noncontroversial matters, by influencing community values and political procedures and rituals, not withstanding that there are in the community serious but latent power conflicts?” (Bachrach and Baratz, 1962). The overlooking of presented issues in public discourse as the situation of an actor or group in a larger web of interactions is formidable. The traditional operationalizations of power are at odds with this conceptualization, since the focus on the possession of resources.
Power is inherently relational; although, the outcome seems to be driven by relationships and networks discount the importance of self-determination and agency. Indeed to the extent that we comprehend the power in politics, plays a pivotal part of the discipline in attempting to comprehend the relationship that is influential.
Consequently, Djupe and Sohkey echo the argument relating that network regards power, but they center on how the exchange of information between voters affects their behavior. The idea of power in the network is consistent with the notion of choice in the contemporary American politics. Given the lack of interest that the average Americans present in politics, social influences still play a fundamental role in shaping the formation of opinions, as well as the propensity toward the action. As a result, they raise the significant questions that regard whether the average citizens are more sturdily affected by their network as a result of their own disinterest.
Accordingly, there exists an acute difference in how many disagreements happen between the citizens. Tentatively, what has become a hallmark in political advancement is the basic question of how much disagreement exists in the networking platform. Arguably, Mutz (2006) suggests that not only are levels of disagreement between exceptionally low in the national probability samples, but the communication levels in the dyads are low as well.
Additionally, the line in debate with retrospect to the effect of network on politics is the disagreeable social interaction. For instance, Mutz’s seminal contribution regarding cross-cutting discussion present, while disagreement results to a better understanding of and tolerance for divergent viewpoints, that result to lower levels of political participation. Other scholars report dispute that the incongruity statistically or positively insignificantly linked to participation such as Nir (2005). Gilbert (2006) suggests that the influence of disagreement is variable subject to other rudiments in a person’s network, or the broader context in which it happens.
The initial trouble calls the problem of selection bias, where the discussion, as well as disagreement in networks, receives motivation by the people’s political preferences and behavior.
Secondly, there occurs the problem of reciprocal causation, where disagreement may influence political behavior, but pointer exists from those behaviors back to disagreement. Lastly, there is a spurious causation, where the factors that lead to political behaviors such as partisan intensity, as well as educational levels lead to the structure of a network, as well as definite discussion level.
Undoubtedly, the individuals, exposed to the general political disagreement, tend to have weak political preferences in comparison to other individuals. Contrastingly, the individuals with experience partisanship-based interpersonal political disagreement tend to have robust political predilections. In presenting the differences, network with disagreement are salient enough to registers as general disagreement as it seems to cut at the foundations of numerous prominent behaviors.
Different types of disagreement not only replicate divergent social processes, but also appear to have divergent effects with retrospect to individuals’ political predilections, the political engagement pattern, as well as the probability of political participation. Consequently, disagreement do not have simply and easily characterized effect and people may not be a consequential for democratic practice; in turn, suggesting that the focus should not be on keeping the good parts of disagreement, whereas changing or ameliorating the detrimental.
In conclusion, political networks affect the modeling of any politics, particularly the American politics. Tentatively, network exerts a causal effect on political behavior in the case that an exogenous modification of the network results in an alteration and political behavior. Power is relational and it exists when considering the interaction between and among the people and groups. Providently, homophily fails to characterize all of an individual’s social relationship, as many social ties formed on the availability, and not solely on personal choice.