Social Network Analysis in Transnational Settings: The Case of Mexico City’s AIDS CBOs


  • Nielan Barnes Department of Sociology, California State University, Long Beach


HIV/AIDS, Mexico, transnational networks, NGOs, public policy, civil society


Using a case study approach, I show how transnational civil society networks both help and hinder community-based HIV/AIDS organizations by providing opportunities for community-state partnerships that favor some local organizations over others, and (re)produce intra-organizational stratification at the local level. In the case of Mexico City, transnational ties encourage community-based AIDS organizations to develop formal organizational forms and strategies (negotiating fronts) which often enhance organizational sustainability and draw organizations into a closer relationship with the state institutionalized sphere. However, such ties also create divisions (political fronts) between outsider and insider organizations that compromise local inter-organizational collaboration and service delivery. As a result, transnational networks and resources solidify outsider-insider conflicts and balkanize service provision along political lines. The conclusions of this research are helpful to international health practitioners and social scientists seeking to understand how transnational networks and resources shape global civil society, and can both challenge and reproduce existing community-state power regimes and health inequities at local and transnational levels.

Author Biography

Nielan Barnes, Department of Sociology, California State University, Long Beach

Nielan Barnes is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the California State University in Long Beach (CSULB). She received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego in 2005, a Masters Degree from the Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies at the University of California, San Diego in 1998, and a Bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies from San Diego State University in 1994. Dr. Barnes’ areas of research and teaching expertise include Globalization, Social Inequality and Health, Sociology of the AIDS epidemic, Sociology of Health and Medicine, Non-profit Organizations and the Voluntary Sector, Transnational Networks and Social Movements and Community-Based Research Methods.






Original Research