Nikita Basov

University of Manchester
Paris IAS
10 months

Research Interests: Network analysis of sociocultural microdynamics; semantic network analysis of knowledge systems; socio-semantic network analysis of European intellectual history; mixed methods of network analysis; structural analysis of culture; statistical network modelling of ethnographic data; computational analysis of texts; multilayer network analysis

Research Project

Socio-Cultural Patterning of the European Intellectual Landscape

Dynamics of thought are driven not only by relations between ideas, but also by networks of social ties between people creating these ideas. While it is now a consensus in social science, we still know little about the micro mechanisms of how interplaying social ties and relations between ideas constitute each other to bring about macro scale intellectual landscapes. Even less is known about the variations in these mechanisms across different areas of intellectual landscapes. As a result, there is insufficient understanding of the origins of discrepancies between different worldviews and values across societies.

To unveil the mechanisms of interplay between social and ideational structures, the study focuses on four European intellectual communities of historically notable philosophers who worked in English, French, German, and Russian from mid-19th to mid-20th century. Being clusters of thinkers united by associated ideas and interconnected by social network ties, these communities have made major impacts on the distinct worldviews in their societies.

Developing cutting-edge methods of the new socio-semantic network analysis, we can gain a comparative understanding of how these communities developed their ideas. This may shed light on the micro-level interpersonal foundations of social, cultural, and political tensions in Europe and, perhaps, help finding ways to deal with the present-day tensions.


Nikita Basov holds a PhD in Sociology from St. Petersburg University since 2009. Since 2013, he had been leading the Centre for German and European Studies of St. Petersburg University and Bielefeld University, as Senior Researcher and, then, Lead researcher at St. Petersburg University. Starting December 2022, he is Senior Lecturer in Network Analysis at the University of Manchester. Nikita has been leading long-term international research projects spanning across Europe and investigating the fundamental principles of socio-cultural microdynamics: co-evolution of meaning, social structure, and material context. On the method side, he induces advancements in multidimensional socio-semantic and socio-material network analyses, with a particular focus on mixing qualitative methods with computational methods and statistical network modelling. He created and organized dozens of international events, including six editions of Networks in the Global World international conference and four St Petersburg Summer Schools in Network Analysis.