Latest research from Assoc Prof Chad Whelan ‘Taking stock of networks across the security field: a review, typology and research agenda’

Chad Whelan
Assoc Prof Chad Whelan

Associate Professor Chad Whelan has published his latest research in Policing and Society with Benoit Dupont. The paper is titled “Taking stock of networks across the security field: a review, typology and research agenda” and the full abstract is below:

Security network research has grown considerably in the last decade as it has been increasingly recognised that security is pursued through networks of public, private and hybrid actors or nodes. This research deals with local, institutional, international and virtual security networks and includes techniques such as social network analysis and approaches more familiar to organisational theory and management. However, much of the security network research employs the network concept as a metaphor to suggest a relationship between a set of security nodes, without examining the structural pattern of these relationships or the underlying properties of security networks. Different uses of the network concept have led to confusion about the application of network theory across the security field. This article attempts to address these issues by clarifying the fundamental concepts of a network perspective and revisiting existing typologies of security networks. We review research on the use of network perspectives across the security field, evaluate theoretical and empirical trends, and give directions for future research. We examine the geographical properties of security networks operating at the subnational, national and transnational levels and put forward four types of networks that have the potential to improve security network research: information exchange networks, knowledge generating networks, problem-solving networks and coordination networks. The article concludes by highlighting the importance of networks for understanding and promoting the governance of security.

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