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Network Goal Analysis: A Tool for Assessing Complex Conflict Dynamics
Keywords: Conflict; social networks; conflict analysis; technology
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the applications of dynamic network theory to conflict analysis and its implications for understanding complex webs of actors and planning interventions. This method and tool add value to traditional ways of analyzing conflict by incorporating goal-oriented network analysis. This argument will be made through demonstrating the application of dynamic network analysis (DNA) to a case, provisionally selected as the current sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland in light of Brexit. The methodology involves the completion of a network goal survey by an expert. The survey assesses social network roles present in the conflict system, as well as other aspects drawn from dynamic network theory. The Qualtrics-based survey systematically explores the relationships of each entity to one another and to the goal under examination. The results are represented visually and inform the planning of interventions.