Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Richard F. Deckro, PhD.


Social network analysis is a powerful set of techniques used by social scientists to study the formal and informal interrelations in a community. Since 9/11 these techniques have been increasingly utilized by the defense and intelligence communities to analyze terrorist networks to aid in thwarting our foes. This study investigates the use of social networks and structural holes to facilitate nation building in failed and failing states. Investigation of the underlying social structure of a community, identifying st ructural holes and gaps within the government, Security Stabilization Transition and Reconstruction Operations (SSTRO) efforts can be focused to strengthen the host nation government to provide security and unity for its citizens. This investigation focused on exploring techniques that link individuals in the professional and governmental community. It was found that Burt's technique of structural holes can be applied to a national level in order to identify structural gaps within an ethnically fractured failing state. This technique can highlight national, regional, or local holes that can be filled to facilitate nation building.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number