Two PhD positions on corporate control and network analysis

Two fully funded PhD positions are available at CORPNET, University of Amsterdam.

Closing date 1 May. Starting date (no later than) 1 september 2016.

We’re a multidisciplinary team, bringing together political science, computer science, network science, sociology, and based at the Amsterdam Insitute for Social Science Research. We’re interested in networks of corporate control. See

For the first position, we are looking for somebody with experience in longitudinal / dynamic network analysis . For the second position, we are looking for somebody with corporate governance expertise, ideally from a networked perspective.

Follow the links below for more information, or see Contact Eelke Heemskerk ( for more information.

Corporate Network Governance: Power, Ownership and Control in Contemporary Global Capitalism (CORPNET)

CORPNET seeks to do what has so far eluded existing scholarship: to fully explore the global network of corporate ownership and control as a complex system. Using cutting-edge network science methods, the project explores for the first time the largest database on ownership and control covering over 100 million firms. Exploiting the longitudinal richness of the new data in combination with state-of-the-art methods and techniques makes it possible to model and empirically test generating mechanisms that drive network formation.

PhD Project: What Drives Network Formation?

This subproject studies the generating mechanisms that drive the formation of corporate governance networks. The project builds a conceptual framework that tries to explain the formation and (dis)continuation of corporate board overlap through the strategies of the actors involved. It takes a bipartite approach and starts from the notion that the generating strategies of actors do not only take place at the firm-by-firm level but are essentially located at the firm-by-person level. The methodological approach is temporal modelling (for example, stochastic actor-oriented or temporal exponential random graph models), and the project will have to develop methods and algorithms to apply modelling on a very large scale.

PhD Project: Corporate Control in Contemporary Global Capitalism

This project engages in a fundamental discussion on the relationship between corporate control, ownership and corporate power. In a world of dispersed and fragmented ownership, corporate directors and managers are the more powerful actors. In a world of (re)concentrated ownership however, directors lose power and influence. The question, then, is the extent to which new concentrated owners such as states and large asset managers, and the corporate elite of directors are separable entities. This is an important question with regard to financial intermediaries and for venture capital, but also for the re-emergence of the state as corporate owner in the global economy. Where and how do the network ties of ownership and of managerial control reinforce each other? Are ownership ties an additional tool for the corporate elite to strengthen their grip on big business? Or can we discern opposing groups of corporate managers and directors on the one hand and the (new) owners of corporate capital on the other?