No sitting around tables and playing with toys (as in Net-Map) but another cool application of social network analysis in which participation plays a very important role as well. This is not participatory data collection (the data collection is mainly automatic) but the results speak to the politically aware mind and might motivate and feed (with data and with anger…) participation in political processes.
Have a look at the dirty energy money networks. Because if you want to understand how politics work, it helps a lot, to understand the money flow networks between the (oil and coal) industries and decision makers. And, if you are interested in it from a methodological point of view, it is just a pleasure to have such an interactive network analysis surface, where you can click on actors and links and learn a lot more about them. And to explore what happens to a two mode network (with two different kinds of links, companies and politicians in this case) if you look at it from one side (who gives to politicians) or the other (who do specific companies give to). And if you are not satisfied with numbers alone, there are a number of links hidden on some of the pages which will get you to sites that explain more about the causes and effects of the money flow.
Filed under: Other people's work