Systemism and New Area Studies: An Application to the Integrated Capabilities Framework



With the advent of New Area Studies, interdisciplinary research is entering into an exciting era. Application of insights from the humanities to the study of politics already can boast of considerable results. The ultimate success of New Area Studies, however, is not guaranteed. On the one hand, implementing frameworks from a wide range of fields beyond the social sciences can yield intellectual payoffs beyond what might be obtained under more restrictive conditions. On the other hand, a panoramic approach to political analysis creates ongoing challenges to effective communication. What if the blending together of many disciplines results in a figurative Tower of Babel rather than a well-integrated body of knowledge? Systemism, which features a graphic approach to portrayal of arguments, is put forward as a method that can assist New Area Studies in meeting the challenge posed by engagements between and among a wide range of disciplines that entail vastly different terminologies and approaches toward research. To show the value of systemism in action, a study of the Integrated Capabilities Framework from Hodgett and Clark (2011) will be converted into a diagrammatic exposition. Work concludes with further ideas for how systemism can help New Area Studies as it seeks to incorporate insights from a variety of fields within the humanities.


area studiessytemismintegrated capabilities framework
  • Year: 2020
  • Volume: 1 Issue: 1
  • Page/Article: 100-131
  • DOI: 10.37975/NAS.31
  • Published on 22 Oct 2020
  • Peer Reviewed