UPPER CASE CHARACTERS – This represents the macro level of a system.
lower case characters – This represents the micro level of a system.
How to Read Diagrams
How to Build Diagrams
The systemist figures are created with a free, intuitive software program, www.diagrams.net. Colors, shapes, and additional notation are used to distinguish roles for components of an analytical argument or connections specifying cause and effect.
In a word, the process leading to a systemist graphic is inductive. The point of departure is designation of a system and environment on the basis of effective portrayal of an argument. In a comparative sense, within a properly specified diagram, most interactions should appear in the space featured as the system rather than its environment. The inner box functions as the system whereas the outer box is the environment that the system is embedded in.
Important as a ‘fork in the road’ is whether the diagram will depict events or ideas. A graphic focusing on ideas could have ‘International Relations’ as a discipline designated as the system, with the ‘World Beyond’ as its environment. Many such diagrams exist in the VIRP archive – showing connections within the world of ideas. It also is possible to focus on events and the archive also includes quite a few of those items. Thus, a systemist graphic about events could depict the ‘State’ as the system and ‘International System’ as its environment.
Within the system, macro and micro levels must be designated. For example, from early on in the VIRP, the macro and micro levels of International Relations have come to be identified with the discipline as a whole and individual scholars within it. In regard to events, state and region are the most commonly designated systems, with the international system as the environment in each instance. For the state, the standard macro and micro levels, respectively, are government and society. For the region, the conventional micro and macro levels, respectively, are individual actors and interactions among them.
After VIRP team members create an initial visualization of a work, first as a pencil sketch and then as a state-of-the-art version in diagrams.net, the respective author(s) is/are contacted so that they can cross-check the diagram. After potential rounds of revision, the final draft of the diagram is added to the VIRP archive.