Posted by: Christian | January 27, 2009

COINdinista Social Network Analysis

I’ve been preparing for a conference presentation on pre-conflict communal and elite competition for irrigable land (obi, not lalmi), water, state-resources and other such agricultural goodies. I’m also planning on handing in a chapter for my dissertation. So I’ve been busy and not doing much here. It should stay the same for a couple more weeks.

But I did find this: A social network analysis of people who write on counterinsurgency.

That’s just a snippet. And as you can see by my isolation, I have no friends or influence (and my name is missing an “e”). [the snippet has been updated, my name has been spelled correctly I have been moved out of the CNAS back-alley to an even more isolated area] I’m just another irrelevant academic. But I am flattered to be mentioned, even though I do not consider myself to be a COIN-anything. I’m trying to build up some expertise in understanding the rural societies where the practitioners operate, but I’m not focused on the counterinsurgency effort per se. I’m definitely no COIN expert.

You can check out the article here, at Jonathan Stray’s blog, where you can find a much larger social network analysis map. Or if you are too lazy, just click here for a full map.

I think it’s a great idea to map out the relations between the writers. Jonathan should consider this a work in progress and update the map in the future (I understand how much work these things require). These relationship are well known, but it’s helpful to see a map drawn out. If I would have to make some suggestions, it would be to include some more people in the map (and note that the map is specifically American-centric). He should probably start with these “COINdinistas”, only one of whom is mentioned.


  1. It is very much a work in progress. Purely accidental that your name ended up on the title graph — you comfortable with being on the same page as CNAS?

    Anyway, I do like your blog; I have never been to Afghanistan, but I have some background in international development and your writing sounds the most realistic to me of all the commentators on Afghanistan (of which doubtless you know many more than I.)

    – Jonathan

  2. Congrats Christian. I know some people who are probably jealous of you now.

  3. Jonathan,

    I’m OK with being on the same page CNAS. I’m sure I could get a job fetching coffee or photocopying there. ;)

  4. g-funk-atrocious,

    i already sent out taunting emails to those people…you be gittin’ back tuh work now, y’hear?

  5. Au contraire, Monsieur “Bleuer”. Some people are watching closely. Ahhhh….but I’m sure you were being facetious. Keep up the good work.

  6. All I ask is that, despite the acclaim of all of this, you do NOT change your style or substance. I often point people to your site as one of the most objective and informed online locations for information on the region.

    Believe me; you are being read and used to great value by more people than this network analysis indicates. Keep it up!


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