Centre for Social and Economic Network Analysis (SENA)

Part of Department of Economics

Lots of different coloured plastic chess pieces on a board with straight pencil lines  connecting them.

We are a multi-disciplinary group for the study of networks

We are the focal point of network research at the University of Essex. We aim to increase the visibility of network research, within the academic community and beyond.

Networks have become an exciting term associated to research with major impact, media coverage and student interest in a variety of fields. Network analysis is naturally interdisciplinary. Typical networks that underlie social science phenomena include friendships among individuals, innovation spill over across firms, input-output production linkages and supply chains, international trade flows, and over-the-counter trades between banks. Studying the network effects that underlie such phenomena is often extremely complex requiring the mastery of advanced mathematical and statistical tools as well as computing tools in some cases. In fact, the common mathematical and statistical tools specific to network analysis create a natural link between social sciences and STEM sciences.

Our work capitalises on a strong base; we benefit from the established tradition of social science research already taking place at the University of Essex, as well as an excellent relationship with a growing Department of Mathematics. Furthermore, Professor Sanjeev Goyal, one the pioneers of social networks research, now at Cambridge, conducted some of his key research in the area while in the Department of Economics at Essex between 2003 and 2006.

Our members belong to a multitude of different disciplines, both within and outside of the University of Essex, view our complete list of members, visit their individual staff profiles and learn more about their research interests by visiting our members page.

Christian Ghiglino
"A large part of my research has been to construct and study models in which agents or nodes acquire links with some probability. In particular, I study how innovation or patents generate new patents by linking to older ones."

Our members

The members of the Centre for Social and Economic Network Analysis belong to a broad range of disciplines. From political science and sociology, to mathematics and economics; our interdisciplinary collaboration ensures our research is multi-faceted and dynamic.

You can view the members of the Centre for Social and Economic Network Analysis, or visit our research areas to discover our current list of collaborators on specific areas of research. 

Our research areas

Our key aims
  • Organising multi-disciplinary internal workshops on specific themes and organising international workshops and conferences.
  • Coordinating links with local government and the industry and thus improving the impact of network research, whilst helping to sustain the quality programs by leveraging the strengths of our research.
  • Applying for and obtaining grants to support current research and build robust research networks for future research.

Highlights of our work


Working papers


The Centre for Social and Economic Network Analysis regularly host seminars and events.

To find out about all events currently being hosted within the Department of Economics please visit our Departmental events calendar.

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Contact us
Centre for Social and Economic Network Analysis Director Christian Ghiglino
University of Essex
Department of Economics Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex
Telephone: 01206 872728