Call for Papers: Understanding Policy Networks


Call for Papers

Understanding Policy Networks: Social Network Analysis as a Tool to Visualize and Predict the Politics of Education from the Local to the National Level


Guest Editors: Emily Hodge (Montclair State University), Joshua Childs (University of Texas at Austin), Wayne Au (University of Washington Bothell)


Topic: Understanding Policy Networks: Social Network Analysis as a Tool to Visualize and Predict the Politics of Education from the Local to the National Level

            Education Policy Analysis Archives calls for papers for a special issue exploring the utility of social network analysis as a tool to examine policy networks. Policy networks have become increasingly important to policymaking over the last several decades, as policymaking has become an expanded enterprise composed of a nebulous array of individuals, non-governmental organizations, philanthropies, and corporations (Bevir & Richards, 2009; Castells, 1996; Eggers & Goldsmith, 2003). While social network analysis (SNA) is a powerful tool for understanding the politics and power relationships embedded within policy networks, the number of studies applying the tools of social network analysis to understanding policy networks in education is relatively small (e.g., Au & Ferrare, 2014; Hodge, Salloum, & Benko, 2016; Reckhow, 2013; Viseu & Carvalho, 2018).

            We envision that manuscripts for this special issue would use SNA to examine the policy networks involved in contentious educational issues in the current political climate. In the U.S. context, potential topics might include how the presidency of Donald Trump will shape the implementation of education policies such as ESSA, IDEA, restorative justice, and the Common Core. We are eager to include papers with an international orientation as well. We hope that manuscripts will utilize innovative, mixed methods tools for network analysis, such as the Discourse Network Analyzer (Leifeld, 2017) and predictive techniques appropriate for network data, such as Quadratic Assignment Procedure (QAP) regression. Using the tools of social network analysis to empirically describe and predict how policy networks provides an way to make power and influence in policy formation and implementation visible and better evaluate policy networks’ influence on equitable education policies.


Au, W., & Ferrare, J. J. (2014). Sponsors of policy: A network analysis of wealthy elites, their affiliated philanthropies, and charter school reform in Washington State. Teachers College Record, 116(11), 1–24.

Bevir, M., & Richards, D. (2009). Decentring policy networks: A theoretical agenda. Public Administration, 87(1), 3–14.

Castells, M. (1996). The information age: Economy, society and culture: Vol. I. The rise of network society. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Eggers, W., & Goldsmith, S. (2003). Networked government. Government Executive, 35(7), 28–33.

Hodge, E. M., Salloum, S. J., & Benko, S. L. (2016). (Un)Commonly connected: A social network analysis of state standards resource for English/language arts. AERA Open, 2(4), 1–19.

Leifeld, P. (2013). Reconceptualizing major policy change in the advocacy coalition framework: A discourse network analysis of German pension politics. Policy Studies Journal 41(1), 169–198.

Reckhow, S. (2013). Follow the money: How foundation dollars change public school politics. New York: Oxford University Press.

Viseu, S., & Carvalho, L. M. (2018). Think tanks, policy networks and education governance: The rising of new intra-national spaces of policy in Portugal. Education Policy Analysis Archives26(108),


About the Journal: EPAA/AAPE is a peer-reviewed, open-access, international, multilingual, and multidisciplinary journal designed for researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and development analysts concerned with education policies. EPAA/AAPE accepts unpublished original manuscripts in English, Spanish and Portuguese without restriction as to conceptual and methodological perspectives, time or place.


Submission Information/Timeline: Interested contributors are invited to submit 400-word abstracts aligned with the special issue theme for review by February 1, 2019. All abstracts should be submitted electronically through the EPAA website and follow the Journal’s submission guidelines at

400-word Abstract Deadline: February 1, 2019

Selected Authors Notified: March 1, 2019

Invited Submission Deadline: May 30, 2019

Anticipated Publication: March 2020


Guest Co-Editors: Emily Hodge, Assistant Professor, Montclair State University (, Joshua Childs, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin (, Wayne Au, Professor, Professor and Interim Dean of Diversity & Equity, Chief Diversity Officer, University of Washington Bothell (