Measuring Political Elite Networks with Wikidata
10-30, 19:30–19:55 (UTC), Room 1

Studying networks of political elites in a comparative way across a large number of countries—especially involving multiple sectors like finance, politics, business, military, religious communities and so on—is challenging. Wikidata covers all types of elites—military, finance, clergy, etc.—which is a more realistic representation of who influences politics than simply studying politicians. Another advantage of Wikidata for the study of networks is its inherent graph structure. As a demonstration of Wikidata's use in a political science context, an application to kinship networks with data that covers 219,332 elite actors across 193 UN member countries shows that kinship ties among the elite are more prevalent in more authoritarian countries, in confirmation of theories of coup-proofing.

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What will the participants take away from this session?

The session will show Wikidata's usefulness in a political science / academic context. It will also help see some of the challenges one faces when using Wikidata for such an application, especially regarding global inequalities in coverage.