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Looking Eastward: Network Analysis of Czech Deputies and their Foreign Policy Groups

  • Mochtak, Michal
  • Diviak, Tomas
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2019
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The paper analyses a structure of relations among the members of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, as reported through their memberships in bi- and multi-lateral groups of friendship which establish professional contacts between the Chamber of Deputies and foreign parliaments. We approach the structure as a social network of MPs and interpret the memberships as proxy indicators of their interests/preferences in foreign affairs. The paper shows that inter-parliamentary groups construct a self-sustained independent structure for parliamentary diplomacy which may significantly differ from the official positions of the Government. We find that the studied network has a centralized core-periphery structure, in which deputies who are less prominent and those interested in authoritarian regimes occupy more central positions. The paper connects the findings with the current debates on Central European tendencies to look for allies in large authoritarian regimes (Russia and China), for which we argue the interparliamentary groups might play the role of an important communication channel.

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