University of Konstanz
Prof. Dr. Ulrik Brandes

Seminar Re-analyzing social network studies: What is the enemy of my enemy? (Winter 2015/2016)

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13 January 2016
Questions, help, guidance (PZ 1006)
by appointment

In this seminar we re-analyze social network data that has been used in published research. By varying the applied methodology we attempt to find out whether different methods of analysis would have lead to different results for the same research questions. The seminar, thus, touches the important issue of reproducibility in empirical social science. Participants will learn to apply simple and more sophisticated techniques to statistically analyze empirical social network data.
We will re-analyze the hypotheses and findings published in Maoz et al. (2007) using data publically available from the Correlates of War Project ( In short, the paper addresses the question whether indirect relations, such as being an enemy of an enemy or being a friend of an enemy, have an influence on the occurrence of interstate conflict. In this seminar we are not interested in this research question per se but rather take it as a starting point to understand how the applied methodology affects the obtained findings.
Prerequisites: Interest in quantitative methods for social network analysis and the ability to learn to work with statistical software, in particular R ( (Participants will get a short introduction and code examples.) It is not mandatory to have any previous knowledge about social network analysis, nor about social science, political science, or international relation research.
Main reference: Zeev Maoz, Lesley G. Terris, Ranan D. Kuperman, and Ilan Talmud (2007). "What is the enemy of my enemy? Causes and consequences of imbalanced international relations, 1816-2001". Journal of Politics, 69(1):100-115.

Note: There is a topically related lecture Network modeling.


Weekly seminar (Viviana Amati & Jürgen Lerner) Wed 10:00-11:30 in P 603

Tentative schedule of participants' presentations

No. Topic Date Presenter  Slides (pdf)
1 Repeat analysis of Maoz et al. 25 November 2015  - -
2 Control for past alliances and conflicts 2 December 2015 Arno Fontaine Pres. 2
3 Control for covariates 2 December 2015 Dennis Soell Pres. 3
4 Analyze the probability of interaction 9 December 2015 Timon Behr Pres. 4; Table1; Table2
5 Analyze the conditional probability of conflict  20 January 2016 Qaiser Jamal -
6 ERGMs for the conflict network 16 December 2015 Lena Pollak Pres. 6
7 ERGMs for the alliance network 16 December 2015 Dagmar Sorg Pres. 7
8 STERGMs for the conflict network 20 January 2016 - -
9 STERGMs for the alliance network 13 January 2016 - -
10  TERGMs with pseudolikelihood estimation 20 January 2016 - -


Some documents are only locally accessible - see possibilities for remote access.






Paper to be re-analyzed

International relations data

(Separable Temporal) Exponential Random Graph Models

Further information