Research on diffusion and transfer increasingly relies on the concept of policy networks, but often in inductive, descriptive, and anecdotal ways. This article proposes a more robust method for the comparative analysis of policy networks, a method we term ‘event-focused network analysis’ (EFNA). The method assumes that networks are most clearly revealed in ‘events’–conferences, meetings, workshops, etc. Databases of participants at these events provide the foundation for social network analysis of the networks of which they are part. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has hundreds of such events annually that are connected to a myriad of policy issues, thus allowing cross-sectoral network comparisons. The article begins with a review and critique of current approaches to network analysis, explains the EFNA approach, and then applies it to anti-corruption networks centred in the OECD. The case study shows the promise of the method, particularly in being able to trace a wider range of actors than is typical, taking us beyond the ‘usual suspects’ in conventional transfer studies.

anti-corruption, OECD, Policy networks, policy transfer, social network analysis
Policy and Society
School of Public Policy and Administration

Pal, L, & Spence, J. (Jennifer). (2020). Event-focused network analysis: a case study of anti-corruption networks. Policy and Society. doi:10.1080/14494035.2020.1716559