New paper applies network analysis techniques to study informal collaboration in institutionalized settings
Multilateral conferences are the bread-and-butter of international politics. In such settings, countries may pursue their interests individually, but most of the time they prefer to act through coalitions. Such coalitions are overlapping, creating a network structure. States build and utilize networks to get agenda items pushed through or to block unfavorable ones. While sometimes they are formed on the basis of formal institutions (such as the NAM or the EU), frequently their membership is based on either ad hoc cooperation or existing informal bodies (such as the NSG, New Agenda Coalition, or Zangger Committee). The attention to such networks is, however, still in its infancy. This paper looks at how state networks within one of the most important recurring diplomatic conferences—the quinquennial NPT Review Conference—develop and transform over time. By doing so, the paper maps the existing networks and explains their transformation as an instrument of global governance.