|Virtual Networks A "Virtual Network" is a group of Think Tanks identified by certain semantic and normative (ideological) commonalities (e.g. climate change scepticism). Such a virtual network constitutes a research field that differs from the study of formal networks. Formal networks are real in the sense of officially acknowledged and immediately open to empirical validation. Virtual networks on the other hand display shared ideas. Social network analysis tools can be applied to find out if or to what extent virtual networks are real networks that display linkages (membership in networks, personnel, resources etc.). Unconnected think tanks in turn can be considered special cases in need of explanation independent from network structures (unless we have to assume invisible, hidden or covered ties).
Organizational Structure and Funding
People working for the Think Tank (Fellows etc.). This includes also part-time employees.
- Edmund Phelps, Special Non-Resident Senior Staff Member
We used the DGs of the EU to generate a basic list of topics. This list is going to be steadily extended. However we try to preserve a persistent list of topics.
What we call here a semantic field is the idea to categorize think tanks in a two level system. The first levels are so called 'Virtual Networks' and the second are the semantic fields. Accordingly every semantic field entered here has to be attached to a virtual network. If you would like to follow a special phenomenon among think tanks please contact us and we are going to add a new virtual network. Semantic fields are topics that promote a virtual network. Lets take climate change as an example: 'climate change skeptics' is the virtual network and 'adaption instead of mitigation' would be one possible semantic field.