May 26 2009

Nodes and the Global Network

by at 5:04 pm under Uncategorized

I would describe the global network as complicated, with states, financial institutions, and NGOs as nodes in their own smaller networks.  These networks would be the same in overall concept but different in their individuality.  One impact of these architectures is a varied global network, comprised of vastly different nodes in smaller networks, which are all linked in some way to form a diverse but interconnected whole.
State, financial institution, and NGO networks would be likely to each be similar to some other networks in their same category (i.e. other state, financial institution, and NGO networks).  Each of these networks would also be unique, and some networks in the same category might be very different.  For example, the network of the United States government would be very different from that of the North Korean government.  The US government would have many more strong ties to others, whereas North Korea would be more isolated, with mainly or only weak links, especially after its recent nuclear and missile tests.  Overall, though, most nodes would probably be similar to many other nodes in their same category (i.e. similar kinds of states and NGOs).  The structure of these different types of states, financial institutions, and NGOs, would determine the architecture of their networks.  For example, organizations that are more open to the public would be more likely to have many strong ties.
State, financial institution, and NGO networks might also be more likely to have links to other networks in their same category (i.e. states having diplomatic relations with other states and NGOs networking with other NGOs).  However, their nature also makes them likely to have certain links to networks in other categories.  For example, international financial institutions are funded by and answerable to various governments, meaning the links between them would be strong.  Some NGOs pursue relationships with states in order to get funding.  One NGO that I interned in, Vital Voices Global Partnership, was initially part of the US Department of State, and spun off to become an NGO.  Clearly, it had strong ties to State, given that some of its employees had worked there and some State employees had worked on or with its predecessor version.  International financial institutions might also work with NGOs as contractors on various development processes.
All of these networks would be linked together in some form within the global network, whether weak or strong, closely liked or linked through many other networks.  They are therefore interdependent in some way, and thus vulnerable to other parts of the worldwide network.  In other words, something happens in a piece of the global network, this can cause major effects in the rest of the network.  This could include a decision by a state to go to war, a decision by a financial institution to change policies, or a decision by an NGO to promote an issue or attack a state or financial institution.
Therefore each of these nodes would be unique, but would be likely to be similar to some other nodes in its same category.  They would all be interconnected in some way among others in their category and with networks in other categories.  These interconnections could be far removed and very weak, or the organizations could be intimately linked.  Actions by one node in the network would affect the other nodes in some way.

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