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Trends in Organized Crime

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 101–121 | Cite as

Introduction to Social Network Analysis (SNA) as an investigative tool

  • Renée C. van der HulstEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Social behavior is brought about mainly through social ties and connections. Our contacts with other people shape our view of the world, reinforce our identity, and the interactions provide us with all kinds of opportunities and resources to get things done. The social capital associated with networks is also one of the primary ways facilitating crime. Therefore, the systematic analysis of criminal networks is considered a viable means to gain a more thorough understanding of criminal behavior. This paper is a general introduction to social network analysis (SNA) as an analytical tool for the study of adversary networks. The paper reviews some theoretical and key concepts, highlights functional applications, and presents a tentative protocol for data handling and coding. The discussion deals with some methodological issues, challenges and future developments in the field.

Keywords

Social Network Analysis (SNA) Organized crime Terrorism Social capital Methods Criminal investigation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research and Documentation Centre (WODC)Ministry of JusticeThe Haguethe Netherlands

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