Abstract : Inspired by experiments on the actin driven propulsion of micrometer sized beads we develop and study a minimal mechanical model of a two-dimensional network of stiff elastic filaments grown from the surface of a cylinder. Starting out from a discrete model of the network structure and of its microscopic mechanical behavior we derive a macroscopic constitutive law by homogenization techniques. We calculate the axisymmetric equilibrium state and study its linear stability depending on the microscopic mechanical properties. We find that thin networks are linearly stable, whereas thick networks are unstable. The critical thickness for the change in stability depends on the ratio of the microscopic elastic constants. The instability is induced by the increase in the compressive load on the inner network layers as the thickness of the network increases. The here employed homogenization approach combined with more elaborate microscopic models can serve as a basis to study the evolution of polymerizing actin networks and the mechanism of actin driven motion.