27 February 2018

Dimitris Christopoulos visited IIASA

Dimitris Christopoulo from MODUL University, Vienna, Austria and Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK visited IIASA in the framework of the Systemic Risk and Network Dynamics project and gave a talk on "Network Governance: Exploring the Limits of Governance Robustness and Resilience" on 27 February, 2018. 


The study of governance is tantamount to a study of the cohesive forces that keep governance systems together and the study of their evolution processes. Governance systems, (particularly those premised on a shared understanding for process rules), are subject to unique challenges of adaptation. If they are too flexible they will work to the advantage of those with most power, if they are too inflexible they are likely to become obsolete or unrepresentative. And since all politics involves a level of contestation, governance systems are a means for resolving potential conflict while allowing the polity to deal with internal and external challenges. These challenges can have a varying degree of predictability and severity. While the degree to a governance system retains its key functions in dealing with these challenges we can then associate with governance robustness and resilience (R&R).

And this way a networks lens can provide unique insights. The cohesive force that keeps a governance system together comprise ties between the relevant entities (actors, collectives, organizations etc) and the shared understandings between them. The study of governance R&R can therefore be a study of governance networks, ideally combined with a study of governance institutions.

To consider the type of challenges that are faced by actors in a governance system we would have to consider the process of institutionalized governance change and the prevalence of shocks. These jointly affect the structure of relations between actors and can be therefore considered to reflect governance R&R.

Dimitris Christopoulos is an associate professor (habil.) at MU-Vienna, where he is Dean of Executive Education. He is also Director of the Centre for Networks and Enterprise, of the Edinburgh Business School at Herriot-Watt University. Dr Christopoulos has delivered multiple graduate and PhD seminars and workshops on network analysis at the Universities of Bamberg, Bristol, Edinburgh, Essex, European U. Institute, Hamburg, Luxembourg, Malmo, Roskilde and Vienna among others. He has also been a member of the faculty at the Essex Summer School on Methods (2006-2011) and the ECPR Winter School in Methods (2012-2018). Dr Christopoulos research interests focus on exceptional agency as evident in entrepreneurship, leadership and brokerage. He has received funding from the UK-ESRC, EU ERC, EU JRC, the Luxembourg National Fund for Research and the Swiss National Fund for Research.

Print this page

Last edited: 01 March 2018


Elena Rovenskaya

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Research project

Systemic Risk and Network Dynamics


Dimitris Christopoulos visited IIASA

12 December 2017

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313