The journal New Perspectives in Social Sciences (NPSS) seeks to support researchers who venture into new areas in the social sciences and provide a vehicle for research work which, while upholding rigorous standards, dare to offer analyses that overcome obstacles that beset established models. This journal does not define itself in opposition to or as a complete break from these models. It recognizes their power and influence; however such recognition is not enough to prevent anyone from challenging, circumventing or even disregarding them since every model has its weaknesses, can stimulate and inhibit, enable discovery as well as prevent it.
Realizing the limitations of established models in the social sciences opens up various areas. The critique of utilitarianism is one of them, but there are many others. The NPSS journal will encourage an exploration of these other areas, especially but not exclusively, complex systems and relational analysis. The fecundity of modeling as regards complex systems is well documented in many areas of scientific knowledge. It is time for it to be expressed beyond the hasty recusals or even the stigma it often suffers in the social sciences. The relational approach, at the micrological level, is one of the few ways in which it is possible to address the relationship between people outside a phenomenological logic where the key issues are explained in terms of the intentions of the actors. At the macrological level, the relational approach is one way of understanding social phenomena other than from an anthropocentric prism where everything social is built around the actor.
This dual theoretical orientation is in no way exclusive. Openness to innovative and rigorous thinking should be a rule because it is unlikely that the areas that unfold leave the observer with anything other than plurality, both in terms of the objects of analysis and how they are viewed.
Complex systems theory and the relational approach focus on analyzing the dynamics between objects or the links between elements that constitute a whole rather than analyzing the objects in themselves. These two theoretical positions are such that a given phenomenon, a particular object, are never understood in isolation, neither outside the whole to which they belong or of which they are part, nor outside their relationships with other phenomena or objects. In this sense, these two positions are almost necessarily interdisciplinary as has been aptly demonstrated by the work of the Systems Science European Union, the European MCX (modeling complexity) or the Santa Fe Institute. To name the proponents of this epistemological position would perforce be arbitrary given that this vast field extends to cybernetics, communicational analysis and systems analysis, even biology, sociology, linguistics and political science.