An essential step toward understanding neural circuits is linking their structure and their dynamics. In general, this relationship can be almost arbitrarily complex. Recent theoretical work has, however, begun to identify some broad principles underlying collective spiking activity in neural circuits. The first is that local features of network connectivity can be surprisingly effective in predicting global statistics of activity across a network. The second is that, for the important case of large networks with excitatory-inhibitory balance, correlated spiking persists or vanishes depending on the spatial scales of recurrent and feedforward connectivity. We close by showing how these ideas, together with plasticity rules, can help to close the loop between network structure and activity statistics.