Category: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 explore whether and to what extent virtual networks are real networks displaying linkages in the form of, for example, network membership, overlapping personnel or shared resources. 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).