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Why Legislative Networks? Analyzing Legislative Network Formation*


Are the social networks of legislators affected more by their political parties or their personal traits? How does the party organization influence the tendency of members to work collectively on a day-to-day basis? In this paper, I explore the determinants of the relationships of legislators in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies. I use exponential random graph models to evaluate the relative influence of personal traits versus party influence in generating legislator relationships. Despite a focus on personalism in Brazil, the analysis reveals that the effects of political parties on tie formation are roughly equal to the effects of personal traits, suggesting that networks may make political parties much more cohesive than contemporary literature would lead us to believe.

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Stefan Wojcik, Department of Political Science, University of Colorado, 333 UCB, Boulder, CO ( The author would like to thank Shawnna Mullenax, Andy Baker, Carew Boulding, David Brown, and Anand Sokhey for excellent comments and advice received while writing this paper. The author acknowledges the cooperation of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies in allowing him to carry out this research. The author also thanks the replication analyst at PSRM who worked so hard to ensure replicability of the statistical results, as well as the two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions. To view supplementary material for this article, please visit

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Political Science Research and Methods
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