Europäische Zeitgeschichte

A new reading of primary sources via the digital analysis of social networks. ‘The Werner Committee and the debates on European economic and monetary integration’

This pilot project was carried out in connection with the CVCE’s strategy of combining humanities and social sciences research with digital tools and publishing the results via its digital research infrastructure on European integration, Methods borrowed from social network analysis and qualitative data analysis were applied to a specific section of the digital publication on the 1970 Werner Report, a publication which was compiled on the basis of the ‘traditional’ exploration and interpretation of a vast number of previously unpublished primary sources. 2
The aim of the analysis was to summarise and visualise the negotiations within the Werner Committee so as to shed new light on the historical facts. By using this innovative technique we were able to demonstrate links, affinities and oppositions among the members of the committee, identify the influence of individual Member States in the ongoing dispute between ‘economists’ and ‘monetarists’ which characterised the debates on EMU, and highlight contributions to the political consensus on the Werner Report.

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