Professor Paul McLean studies elite social networks in historical contexts, specifically Renaissance Florence and early modern Poland. This involves gathering pretty large datasets from archival sources to get something approaching a comprehensive view of the relational structure of such networks. How such networks are patterned and how they evolve has important consequences for the trajectory of political and economic development and the emergence of various kinds of institutional innovations in those societies. Besides mapping the structure of such networks, he is interested in the art of networking (even if he is not very good at it himself!), the sentiment of honor, and various themes (e.g., chance and game-playing) in the sociology of culture. He teaches courses in political and economic sociology, the sociology of culture, social network analysis, and classical social theory. He also enjoys hiking and is a singer of art songs and Renaissance polyphony in his spare time.