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Environmental Policy and Governance Env. Pol. Gov. 20, 135–145 (2010) Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.

interscience.wiley.com) DOI: 10.1002/eet.532

Exploring the Composition of Communication Networks of Governance – a Case Study on Local Environmental Policy in Helsinki, Finland
University of Helsinki, Department of Social Policy, Finland

Arho Toikka*

ABSTRACT Governance (Rhodes, 1996; Kooiman, 1993, 2003; Pierre, 2000) is one of the most popular new concepts in policy science and administrative science. The literature does not constitute a unified theory, but a single theme runs throughout: policy decisions are referred to as being made by networks of organizations. However, the network governance literature has not built on the previous literature on policy networks and the methods of social network analysis. The structure of the governance network can make a difference in policy-making, but the structures have often been neglected in governance research. Here, the combination of social network analysis and governance literature is suggested as a possibility for investigating network structures. In particular, we investigate how and why the organizations involved choose their communication partners. The methods of exponential random graph modelling (sometimes referred to as p* models) (Snijders et al., 2006; Robins et al., 2007a, 2007b) enable the simultaneous modelling of structural effects and individual variables and their effects on network structure. As of yet, there are few substantial applications. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the composition of a policy network and the effects of network and actor variables on the empirically observed network. The environmental policy of the city of Helsinki, Finland, is used to demonstrate the approach. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Received 2 April 2009; revised 22 December 2009; accepted 19 January 2010 Keywords: governance; policy network; exponential random graph model

system dictates resource use (Ostrom, 2009). The SES framework, as well as policy science in general, has emphasized the complexity of governing when no actor holds all the necessary information or the necessary resources for efficient policy. In policy science, this has been conceptualized in the theory of governance (Kooiman, 2003; Pierre, 2000; Pierre and Peters, 2005; Rhodes, 1998). The government has given way to
* Correspondence to: Arho Toikka, University of Helsinki, Department of Social Policy, PO Box 18, Snellmaninkatu 10’9 Helsingin Yliopisto, Finland 00014. E-mail: arho.toikka@helsinki.fi
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment



and the explanatory variables are different network effects and attribute variables. and provide the connection between theory and method. Policy depends on collecting information dispersed in various organizations. as well as implementation. 2005). p. As organizations seek to mobilize the information required for policy-making. 2005) is one of the debated features of the network. Ltd and ERP Environment Env. to explore the composition of governance networks. governance and social–ecological systems are strong.136 A. The aim here is to model the network composition with structural effects and actor attributes. The policy network approach mapped the structures of political communication between organizations (Laumann and Knoke. 1997. they form communication links. However. 1994. The governance literature has various definitions and debates over the meaning of network. collect information and settle policy disputes through the network. Carrington et al. 20. Do the organizations in the network choose their communication partners based on their previous partners. 148). To be able to make sensible policy for such diverse areas. As the governance organizations draft policy. for a review) and the methods of social network analysis (Wasserman and Faust. the communication structure – who talks with whom – is important. 28). Governance has even been assumed to result in different policy instruments than government (Jordan et al. p. It is assumed that there is some freedom to choose communication partners. p. Different conceptualizations of these networks have ranged from corporatism to post-modern network societies (van Kersbergen and van Waarden. The governance network is a collection of the collaborating actors making policy decisions. 2005. 2006) is a statistical model where the dependent variable is the presence or absence of ties between all pairs of actors in the network. As individual organizations establish communication links. a complex structure of interwoven links is born. Here. each of who may communicate with any number of others. Why do organizations choose the communication partners they do choose? The actors can base their choice of contacts on multiple criteria. Toikka networks of public and private organizations. The network is a communication structure: policy decisions are affected by the communication structures that result from individual communication links between organizations. 2007a. 2006. but they have not been united in full. The exponential random graph model (Robins et al. The main body of the data is the network of communication in the drafting and planning of environmental policy programs. 2000. 2008). Connections between the method of policy networks. Snijders et al.1002/eet . As is usual with environmental policy. Pol. The network of organizations is charged with negotiating policy. The paper uses the methods of exponential random graph modeling. A governance network. the simplest possible definition based on the policy network concept is used. a method of statistical social network analysis. networks are assumed to be simple membership structures. 481). where the interplay of institutions produces policy. which are responsible for policy formulation and policy choice. Democratic accountability and openness are pointed out as important features of the process (Hirst. The governance network is the set of actors. but real life governance systems are complex communication structures. The purpose of this paper is to develop methods for evaluating the structure of this complex network. In the informal sense. the policies made concern a wide variety of issue areas. Environmental policy includes energy policy and handling pollution. or solely on the basis of the information they hold and the status they have? The aim is to build on the earlier literature on policy networks (see Börzel. even if one actor may be able to issue punishments for non-compliance.. then. The network consists of 78 political. standard regression assumptions do not hold and a special model making dependence assumptions instead is needed. Finland. but was criticized for lack of theoretical focus and explanatory potential (Dowding. The governance literature should benefit from applying the insights learned from policy networks. The analysis of the individual links and the resulting structure is reported here. The modelling enterprise is demonstrated using a data set based on the environmental governance network in the City of Helsinki. 1995)... 135–145 (2010) DOI: 10. based on both the network itself and various background variables. 1987). Whether the network is autonomous from the state (Rhodes. The goal is to explore the effects of different background variables and the network itself on the composition of the whole network. As the ties in the communication networks cannot be considered independent from each other. administrative and non-profit organizations. refers to a specific type of policy network. the number and range of organizations needed to plan policy is significant. the concept of a network is often underdeveloped in governance research (Christopoulos. Gov. which is a subcategory of social networks. but construction guidelines and education programmes too. and private Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons.. especially when it is conceptualized as policy for sustainable development. 1996) or the state plays an important role in the workings of the network (Pierre and Peters.

135–145 (2010) DOI: 10. The next section describes the theoretical background in more detail and justifies the link between the theory and the method. 2009. The policy network tradition offers tools to systematically differentiate between network positions. 2004. The concept of governance networks has multiple meanings. Networks of Decision-Making This section discusses the modeling of governance networks and the theoretical predecessors of the present work. As the concept of network has so many different applications. 2000. the government has to admit private interests into the policy process. followed by the actual results and discussion. but it is assumed that the conclusions would hold for national policy as well. self-organizing structures (Rhodes. Folke et al. 22). and complemented by archival records. The data was established by semi-structured interviews with organizational representatives. the policy network tradition was criticized for sticking to simple descriptions of the networks (Dowding.. Social network analysis has been used in this context. 20. we need to clarify the definition of governance network used. Pol. 2000. 2006). p. and the criticism of these humble attempts is fair (Richardson. 502). The methods have been refined within the research tradition as well as combining the framework with other approaches Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons. The literature has diverged into two strands: environmental governance and natural resource management. describing the processes of environmental decision-making in Helsinki. it is not a simple trade-off between political power and technical expertise. p. 2005). 2007. due to the increased complexity of the information required for efficient policy-making. 138–142). 2005).1002/eet . The current discussion on governance connects to discussions on social–ecological systems and on policy networks. too (for example Cashore et al. The governance network should be interpreted as the complete pattern of interactions. It is also about developing shared visions of the system and of the policy process. pp. are often used to exemplify governance. and fully fledged modelling approaches have been become available (Thatcher. Jordan et al. To utilize the resources. Here. pp. policy networks moved on. 658).. The natural resource approach has applied social network analysis for stakeholder analyses (Prell et al. The network structures are the results of interdependencies between the organizations. 1998). Gov. However. non-uniform tradition. personal social network structures have been found to contribute to local-environmental knowledge and in turn. A dissection of definitions of networks in governance justifies the use of explicit network methodology. The governance networks here are social networks of organizations. to resource use (Crona and Bödin. pp. 1998. with weak links between method and substantial theory (Peters. Environmental policy researchers have adopted a network approach. 1995). Environmental policy and resource management have also used the conceptualization of social–ecological systems. 1998. these traditions share the focus on a decision-making process where multiple actors contribute (van Kersbergen and van Waarden. but usually for personal networks. Then. as the governance literature is a multidisciplinary. the recent practices of private provision of public services. 151–152). The early attempts at policy network analysis in the 1980s tried to build on the observations of the changing polity. with the objective of policy making. 1006–1008). 4). or the emergent structures of interactions between the members of the network (Kooiman. p. governance network is the group of actors involved in planning public policy. 1998). about ‘games about rules’ (Stoker. such as contracting out or public–private partnership. In public administration. The theoretical foundations from the policy network tradition are linked to this pattern (Marsh. The SES approach points to a governance network as a subsystem.. with vastly differing positions for actors. However. The decision-making networks are autonomous. For example.. the exponential random graph model is presented. The focus is on networks. The elected government does not have the resources to make complex policy decisions without utilizing the expertise of administration and public partners. 1993. Klijn and Koppenjan. However. From international relations to corporate governance. where a governance system is embedded into a complex system of interacting physical properties and rules (Ostrom. Ltd and ERP Environment Env. 2009. The data is based on policy processes in a metropolitan city. Environmental governance research has focused on the ‘new’ aspects of governance: the admittance of private actors into the decision-making process through the mechanisms of public–private partnerships or voluntary agreements.Exploring the Composition of Communication Networks of Governance 137 companies. 1996. It is followed by a background section on the case study and data.

others less constrained and strained by prior communication partners. the approach is slightly different. when looking to build new connections. The network variables describe interdependencies in the ties between organizations. recent advances have enabled the use of any number of interdependencies at all levels of network structure to be modelled (Snijders et al. 2005) would be that even in the network. 173). Even if your influence only goes so far with the big players. As the actors have to share the time and compromise capabilities with all others linked to a particular other. 1987) depicts a network of interlinked sectors with a more-or-less hollow core. or how much does an ego tie toward an alter depend on the alter tie toward the ego) dependence assumptions (Holland and Leinhardt. The ties can be said to have diminishing utility. The development of new methods (Snijders et al. called network effects. and actor attribute variables (Robins et al. independently of each other. Then. They are different structures of the network: in effect. 1996). a small influence on multiple opinion leaders adds up and can go a long way. the network would steer toward a structure of hubs and peripheries. Whether organizations seek to connect with less-connected organizations in the hope of having considerable influence over them or with more-connected organizations in the hope of focusing their influence in the heart of the network is an empirical question. At the level of a triad. we are trying to build a model for estimating the presence or absence of a single tie. When calculating the advantages and costs in creating ties. Thus.138 A. 2006. the story of the hollowing out of the state (Rhodes.1002/eet . 1996. structural balance. what structural and actor-level effects should we look for when looking at the governance network? For both. 1999. they could prefer other things equal. 2006) and more efficient computer programmes (Snijders et al.. From the point of view of a single organization. but as the group grows the possibilities to take advantage of the network become more costly in time and resources. the possible advantages of well connected partners arise from the ability to broadcast your message to a wide audience. Groups of three are the smallest units that form network subgroups.. p. Diani and McAdam. The actors obviously prefer to have communication ties. there can be local and global effects. 687). explanations (Pattison and Wasserman. 2006). the simplest effect is the friend-of-a-friend-is-a-friend explanation. First. Ltd and ERP Environment Env.. 404–406). Wasserman and Pattison. moving into triadic and more complex structural effects (for example. using social network analysis as a method to fill the gaps in theory elsewhere. taking all the other ties and the structural tendencies they display as data. 1996). the attractiveness of powerful communication partners might work in two different directions. 2006. as they are more dependent on you for their communications within the network. the actors observe not only their own position. the forces driving the dyadic partner choice can be viewed as two alternative hypotheses. For triadic effects. p. 2007) has enabled the comparison of different motivations or factors in communication or collaboration partner choice in the network. p. In policy negotiations. an alternative reading of the proponents for the enduring importance of the state in the political process (Pierre and Peters. triadic and global (Contractor et al. the centrality of the state is sustained. a group of three organizations. Here. Laumann and Knoke. the actors will take into account not only the number of their own connections. but also that of the prospective partner. Gov. The importance of the third in the network context is obvious: with just two actors.. Previous ways of statistical modeling of policy networks have modelled personal networks in various settings (Christopoulos. if the state actors are able to retain their position. Starting with simple dyadic (pair-wise. when well connected actors are preferred over others. but as argued they do not uniformly prefer having more ties after a certain number. 20. 2003) and the effects of organizational networks in negotiation from initial preferences to final decisions (Stokman and Zeggelink. because they are easier to influence. Being part of these subgroups is probably beneficial to the actors involved. pp.. 135–145 (2010) DOI: 10. The governance network approach here is an example of the latter. In terms of the governance literature. or friend-of-a-friend-is-a-friend. Pol. The aim is to model communication partner choice. 661. 2007a. the first account suggests that popular central actors would be shunned when new network partners are sought out. As a pair-wise prestige hypothesis. the whole network Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons. Toikka (Thatcher. 1981). The actor attributes correspond to regular survey data. and independent variables are different dependencies between the ties. in that they describe qualities of the actors. Thus. 1998. dyadic. communication partners with fewer connections might be favoured. the same type of effect would be expected to be observed. The actors can observe the network at different levels: actor. Exponential random graph models are a family of statistical models where the dependent variable is the presence or absence of a tie between a pair of actors. Respectively. but also that of others. Networks have been described through various observation points for the actors. Second.

not only on a technical level.Exploring the Composition of Communication Networks of Governance 139 idea is empty. Thus. it should have advantageous network positions. The process was originally initiated by the City Board. how and why organizations form tightly knit subgroups in the network is interesting. It is probably less costly to communicate with similar organizations. a certain set of organizations is reputed to hold the necessary expertise for problem solving. As we are controlling for other effects at the same time. Gov. due to shared organization cultures and possible links outside the realm of policy-making. there is a positive effect for state actors’ popularity. local knowledge about the different policy solutions and their interactions. company and research organizations with the group of private organizations. the measurement of these variables is complicated: the size of the organization is not a good of indicator of the amount of resources available for policy negotiations and networking. Here. p. and the strength of the effect can serve as a guideline to evaluate how the necessary resources for policy-making are dispersed in the society. the main environmental policy document for the city. distinguishing between political and administrative organizations within the public group. for all types of actor. The increased complexity of policy problems requires a diverse knowledge. 59). but other resources whose importance could be stipulated include material resources for policy research.1002/eet . The collaborative drafting process of the programme started in 2003. it is the only one included in the model. Most likely. I concentrate on the process of drafting and preparing for the Helsinki Ecological Sustainability Programme (HESP). The theoretical drive behind this paper is establishing a link between governance theory and communication network patterns. 20. How to combine and liken these different expertises is a hard methodological problem. Pol. 2005. resource variables such as money and staff have been used (Laumann and Knoke. 135–145 (2010) DOI: 10. If the state still holds unique. the executive body for local policy. Finland. but undoubtedly the most important when looking at governance networks is the attractiveness of the central government and the political and administrative organizations representing it. The HESP was an explicit product of a networked communication process. this should be visible in basic popularity. building links to actors who are already linked to your communication partners is inefficient. How strongly each of these groups gets involved with actors within their own reference group could be an interesting factor in establishing the variable costs of communication. and was completed in 2005. In the related policy network research. Policy influence can be assumed to be different: duplicated communication of similar preferences can be assumed to be more influential (Borgetti. they could be included as well. Any number of actor attributes making them more stimulating communication partners could be hypothesized. as the policy measures as well as the goals were determined in the collaboration of city agencies and private organizations. we should try to include variables for different resources. but the most discussed resource in the literature is expert knowledge. the effect could even dominate all other effects. but. As the driving force behind governance networks is the mobilization of resources. If the state is able to control network formation. indispensable resources for policy-making. Again. However. but here we settle for the simple: the typology of organizations. Ltd and ERP Environment Env. whether they establish more or fewer links to similar organizations. but also tacit. the effect is not only interesting as a control variable. this is also important as a control for the popularity effects. The widespread approval of the programme is interesting: no Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons. If the objective for communication is simply the spread of information. Background The analysis focuses on the policy process and communication networks in environmental policy-making in Helsinki. I use a simple variable for determination of expertise: over a defined set of policy problems. Another effect based on the different types of actor involved is to control for actors building links to similar actors. but their call for action was general enough to include almost any policy measures. so the links between the administrative actors do not appear solely as state control over the network. these are excluded here. The state actors should be expected to have more connections than otherwise similar actors with otherwise similar situations. Being part of the state organizations can already be viewed as a resource of sorts. As there are multiple organizations representing the state in the process. Any number of similarity variables could be used. Thus. These network effects are supported by the actor level effects. 1987). where data is available. However. and between various types of non-profit. Expertise is obviously not the single important resource in governance. The draft version put together with the help of numerous organizations passed the city legislative unanimously. and the programme was in force from 2005 till 2008.

but the role of their tacit knowledge and lay-expert knowledge (Yli-Pelkonen and Kohl. 2004. 20. The differing preferences for these organizations are especially visible in environmental policy. The residents’ associations are more interesting: they can also provide important information to the process. The organizations included are political and administrative actors in the city organization itself and non-governmental. Model To define the endogenous network effects and the exogenous attribute effects in detail. p. even if they are all officially supervised by the political actors. which speaks for the governance instead of government hypothesis.140 A. The object of analysis here is limited to the drafting phase of the process. The data lists all communication links for each organization. the hypothesis put forward by governance theory is that in a governance network there are structural effects that cannot be reduced to actor level attributes. Governance literature has often emphasized the admittance of private organizations into the policy process. and they were given the option of bringing up new organizations as well. the drafting network for HESP included city agencies from an energy utility and public transport company to an education board and research organization. communication partner choice is not just based on with whom you wish to communicate. The various agencies and organizations of the city bureaucracy were treated as separate organizations. This poses no problem for the present analysis. Environmental policy has important effects on the behaviour of many of the organizations. The extent of autonomy varies between city-owned enterprises and traditional agencies. is 0. This probably indicates that the original list was comprehensive of those actually involved: it should be noted that any organizations wishing to influence the process but who have no connections at all are excluded from the data. along with certain statistics about the organization itself. environmentalist groups and a few trade unions.1002/eet . In the exponential random graph model. 154). A single representative was chosen to be interviewed for each organization. Local environmental policy has to account for many unique features of environmental and social conditions. 4) is more complicated. non-profit organizations. No organizations outside the original list were mentioned in more than a few interviews. 1996). based on job titles and meeting minutes from the process. The non-governmental organizations in the data include residents’ associations. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons. for example. I next explain the relation between the theoretical approach laid out in the previous sections and the model we apply in the analysis section. Pol. The organizations to be included were chosen on the basis of official listings of communications for recent Helsinki Environmental Policy Programmes. In other words. but from the network perspective the intergovernmental relations are just as important – and equally relevant for the justification of abandoning policy process models focusing on the legislative body. Rhodes. The network data analysed is based on 78 semi-structured interviews with organizational representatives. as tasks are delegated downwards (van Kersbergen and van Waarden. but also with whom they already communicate. The lay-expert knowledge locals have is more complex than just observations about their surroundings and information about values attached to them. The approach and terminology of Snijders et al. but is only tangentially related to their main goals – providing a certain service. Ltd and ERP Environment Env. estimating the effects of the actual network.g. Trade unions are involved in the process because of their ability to provide specialist information. as argued by some of the most extreme governance writers (e. Here. 2005. (2006) is followed. Different institutionalized cultures and competing goals can put two organizations. but all of them have some power over their own goals and the means to achieve them. These representatives were then questioned about different communication links with all the other organizations in the data. 135–145 (2010) DOI: 10. we would expect to find structural effects that still hold when actor attributes are controlled for. but rules out the possibilities of using the data for the analysis of democratic representativeness of the network. as well as private corporations. but this at least serves to underline the importance of the phase for policy results. formally both part of the city. Toikka political debate happened and the prepared document was accepted as is.207. As argued above. on the opposite side of an issue. p. The network density. or the number of observed ties compared with the number of possible ties. Gov. A lot of the policy process concerns fitting these goals together in a coherent policy document. State agencies are semi-autonomous. but it can also complement scientific information about the relations of objects.

a positive effect would imply a preference for connecting to the communication partners’ partners. 198). there needs to exist a path between two actors. we use actor attribute variables to supplement the three network variables. 2007). in the governance network. For a triad to occur. including environmentalist organizations as well as some single-issue groups. The assumption is modelled with an alternating k-stars -parameter. but I use the parameter setting suggested by Robins et al. The private organizations are grouped into for-profit companies. I expect to find a positive effect for subgroup building. as well as solving some issues with model degeneracy (Snijders et al. organization type similarity and an issue area expertise variable. as well as local environmental knowledge. but with each extra link assumed to be less important than the previous one. As discussed. p. a negative one a preference for avoiding them as partners. as suggested by Snijders et al. Second. with no autonomous agenda). Ltd and ERP Environment . and a negative one a preference for those with fewer connections. the triangular effects or alternating k-triangles -effects are estimated simultaneously for all sizes of subgroups. as they measure whether governmental organizations are more attractive communication partners than others. even though the effect estimated is two directional. Reliable measures of a complex issue such as expertise are difficult to attain. The difference between having one or two partners may be huge. they might make them to partners with a similar background or partners with a similar set of connections. In the governance network. 20. 135–145 (2010) DOI: 10. Another thing we have to account for is the relative importance of another extra tie. but the most important interpretations if a significant effect is found are combinations with the transitivity parameter. If there is a tendency to build these paths between a certain pair of actors. A positive tendency for these structures would imply a network structure with two highly connected central actors with a starlike structure around them. with a decreasing importance for larger groups. Pol. but with own agenda and at least some decision-making power over methods to achieve set goals) and subsidiaries (city-owned companies with still higher autonomy). Then. at least statistically more often than not. Differentiating between these two allows for better estimates of actual network structure influence. Env. The range of expertise areas is from a minimum of 1 (some single issue organizations) to 13 (the city environment centre). for example expertise in ecological construction. popularity or prestige effects might work two ways – more partners may make it either more or less attractive. Social networks have strong tendencies for transitive triadic structures – a friend of a friend is a friend.. However. this can result in what appears to be transitivity. This is important to control for two possible effects. sectoral administrative (city owned. First. The second variable measures whether the communication partners of one’s previous partners are more (or less) attractive when building new connections. as governmental organizations have more connections in the network than non-governmental ones. The organization type variable has six categories: the city organization is divided into central administrative (under direct political control. Again. The parameter measures popularity.Exploring the Composition of Communication Networks of Governance 141 The first network variable is the number of connections a communication partner has. The first two are answers to the criticisms governance literature has received. and whether a greater number makes it more or less attractive as a new partner.1 A positive alternating k-star effect means a preference to connect to others with more previous connections. so I have used a rather simple and crude measure: self-reported expertise over 15 different areas important in environmental policy making. I include an alternating k-two-paths parameter to account for this. or larger cliques with more members. we want to make sure the observed transitivity effect is really transitivity and the triads do not result from a tendency to build open-jaw structures that are prerequisites for the triads. These include both scientific knowledge and practical information. we need to control for the similarity effect to make sure the organization type effect actually holds. but measures whether organizations are more or less likely to build connections to organizations of the same type. controlling for this homophily effect allows us to refine the interpretation of transitivity effects. This effect also carries over for larger network structures. but the difference between 32 and 33 negligible. (2007b. Such 1 It would be possible to estimate this parameter or the speed of the decrease (Hunter. The similarity variable uses the same data. (2006). local associations (mainly residents’ associations) and other non-profit groups. Gov. Making the assumption of decreasing importance allows us to account for this. As with popularity. When the organizations are making connections to similar partners. 2006). I use three fairly simple attribute variables: organization type. and it is possible to find a negative effect as well. The last variable in the model is the issue area expertise.1002/eet Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons.

243 0. was used to determine significance.023 0. we are trying to simulate the network building process and establish a combination of parameter estimates that produces a network with the best correspondence to the observed network. after we account for subgroup building and the tendency for intergovernmental relations. The number of ties is fixed to the observed density of the network. Version 3. implying that the inherent randomness in stochastic modelling should not be an issue for model stability and the results. The full model displays a strong preference for transitivity.018 0. Pol.347 0.. the other parameter estimates remain stable except for one: when preconditions for transitivity are eliminated. Gov. Ltd and ERP Environment Env. with significant but smaller attribute effects.101 Table 1. a small positive expertise effect. The preconditions parameter is small. we obtain parameter estimates for their exponential effect for the probability of a tie. The analysis proceeds with a backward elimination procedure of non-significant effects. The model converged well. The largest of the attribute effects is status similarity.. 1. too. MCMC estimates for non-directed communication relation in Helsinki environmental governance network with their standard errors Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons. A t-ratio of 2 was used as the cutting point (as per Snijders et al. Thus.121 0. This is likely explained by the preestablished connections between the different city agencies. parameter estimate divided by standard error. A stochastic Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm was run and iterated until model convergence was achieved..027 0.218 0. 0.e. the various organizations that got involved were first and foremost looking for collaboration partners that would complete small subnetworks by opening the last missing link between any two actors in the group. Toikka a simple measure does not give us a very detailed picture of expertise and policy-making. popularity. Connecting to similar organizations was preferred.111 0. The expertise effect is positive. Analysis Using the exponential random graph model with these variables. The full model parameter estimates are listed in Table 1 as Model 1. along with a negative popularity estimate with a very large standard error. but not very strong. is removed.468 0. Popularity Transitivity Preconditions for transitivity Expertise Status Status similarity −0. and a small negative status effect. The attribute effects are similar to those of the full model. p. controlling for network position. The weak negative status effect means that.029 0.101 est.737 0.453 −0. 2007).1002/eet . 137). which means organizations are more likely to build links to non-governmental organizations than governmental ones. similar to logistic regression coefficients (Snijders et al.458 s. possibly because it is easier to establish communication when you share a certain institutionalized organization culture. p. 20. so the main interest in its inclusion is to see whether the observed network effects still hold when we account for the fact that some organizations are already more attractive partners before the networking begins. with a medium strength status similarity effect. Model 1 est.142 A. 135–145 (2010) DOI: 10. but as the data does not estimate the strength of expertise this effect might be speculated to be stronger with more refined data. 104). the administration is actually less attractive than private organizations when it comes to negotiating policy.020 0. The number of issue areas where an organization had expertise did contribute to the link building. expertise and status similarity. 2006. The preference for transitivity or subgroup building is the strongest influence over network partner choice. the popularity effect disappears. Given the task of preparing and drafting an environmental policy for Helsinki. The analysis was carried out with the software package SIENA.028 0. 2006. The t-ratio.200 −0.e. Model 2 s. When the variable with the smallest t-ratio. The final model (Table 1) has one very strong structural effect. The status effect is actually slightly negative.858 1.1 (Snijders et al.210 −0.

Conclusion The aim of the analysis here was to demonstrate how policy network structures come to be. Data from multiple networks would allow a comparative approach. The conclusions of the model here are that tightly knit subgroups where all the actors are familiar with each other are what the non-governmental actors prefer. the policy process appears to be more driven by mobilization of expertise and finding answers to the complex issues at hand than a traditional power struggle between competing factions. for example in different issue areas. The task of the Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons. as we do not have to discuss whether new public management is really pervasive or not. Here. in our case a general communication relation. in different legislations. are simultaneously trying to find information and combine knowledge bases into usable data. the next step should be to move into longitudinal data from multiple networks. Ltd and ERP Environment Env. was very strong. Pol. The network effect was stronger than the effects of actor attribute variables. even vague. The biggest source of disagreement between governance writers and their critiques has been the diminishing role of the state. it is hard to form a two-sided cleavage in the opinions. As the literature on governance highlights the importance of networks. 135–145 (2010) DOI: 10. This role should an empirical question. or settling differences in opinion and preference. the comparison of different governance cultures.1002/eet . The struggles over costs and sharing the costs and the collaboration over finding efficient and agreeable policy measures to deal with the problems gives rise to a different policy process. The problem has multiple levels and dimensions. as well as positing themselves at advantageous network positions. The comparison could enable at least two different goals: first. the empirical analysis gave support to this governance hypothesis. Still. the data is a single observation from a single network. the result should not be read to suggest that governance has. The differences in definition manifest themselves at the more specific level. the comparison of effect sizes when the amount of autonomy given to the network varies. Such a simple definition of a network avoids many debates over what constitutes a network and what does not. but also establishing a range of parameter values for the different effects. as results of individual communication partner choices accumulating. A network is a list of relevant actors and a list of all of their links for a single relation. the best data would be collected by observations. the network position of potential partners was assumed to be one of motivations behind organizations’ choices. The preference for transitive structures. and has not incorporated the insights from earlier work on policy networks and the new methodology developed with the social network analysis tradition. and the question is whether they have any real influence. and has problems with reliability. The organizations. Even the ultimate goal – good environment – might be agreed upon by all. The present analysis gives empirical support to the literature. or at varying levels of government. replaced government. If resources are available. From this perspective. This process is characterized by a balancing act between political struggles. This networking should be at the core of further governance research.Exploring the Composition of Communication Networks of Governance 143 The governance literature has pointed to the increased influence of non-governmental actors in policy-making. Governance should be treated as a useful framework for analysing policy processes with multiple actors and multiple dimensions rather than a theory to replace old policy science models. when they are let into the process. Gov. Private actors have been involved in the modern policy-making processes. In the single network analysed. too. Using exponential random graph modelling. but such data is not easily accessible. and the mobilization of expertise. Here I used a network definition explicitly based on social network analysis. 20. second. as longitudinal data also suffers from memory recall issues if collected by interviews. The governance approach highlights a different aspect of policy than most others: the development of a detailed policy document from the starting point of a general. for example. or building completely connected subgroups. The most fruitful would be panel data over numerous observations. idea or goal. but the governance literature has been fairly vague in its definition of networks. This effect overwhelmed the effects of the public–private divide and the amount of expertise in the policy area under scrutiny. However. In environmental policy in particular. it should be taken as providing some justification for governance as a theoretical framework for policy analysis and the processes of decision-making. indeed. and the use of governance terminology should not be read as an argument for a historical change from government-led policy to completely private decision-making. The network has an effect beyond the individual characteristics of the network participants.

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