Forecasting in International Relations

Course content

This course aims to introduce students to forecasting in international relations. We will discuss various theoretical and methodological issues regarding forecasting international political events such as interstate and intrastate conflict, international crises, political violence, protests, terror attacks, political instability, leadership change, international negotiations etc. You will also learn about, based on the state of the art scholarship in political psychology, best practices of forecasting international events and be able to reflect on the pitfalls and limits of forecasting in international relations.

 

The course has a substantial practical, hands-on component. There will be two workshops where you will learn practical skills about improving your own forecasting accuracy and calibration that you can apply to broad set of social, political, and economic questions. You will be able to apply those skills and the knowledge you gain in the class, throughout the semester, to forecast real-life events on Good Judgement Open platform on selected questions. You will receive detailed feedback on your forecasting performance at the end of the course.

 

Taking active part in the forecasting on GJO throughout the semester is required and it will be a part of your assessment (not the accuracy of your predictions but the quality of your participation).

Education

Bachelor student: 10 ECTS

Master student: 7.5 ECTS

 

The maximum number participants is 25. SRM students have priority

Learning outcome

Knowledge:

Students will develop an understanding of the most important approaches and methods on forecasting in international relations. Students will have knowledge of recent developments in the field and will be able to reflect on the usefulness and future-development of different approaches to forecasting. They will gain hands-on, real-time experience in forecasting geopolitical and geoeconomic events in the real world.

 

Skills:

The students will be able to describe, evaluate, and apply different forecasting methods to real world events. They will also be able to recognize and assess the limitations of forecasting in international politics. The students will be able to improve their own forecasting skills, accuracy, and calibration through real-time, ongoing forecasting of real events.

 

Competences:

The students will be able to apply the course knowledge to assessing, designing, and developing different approaches to forecasting events in international relations

 

It will include classroom lectures, guest lectures, two workshops on developing and honing forecasting skills and ongoing forecasting of select real-world events on the Good Judgement platform.

Tetlock, P. & Gardner, D. (2015), Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction (New York: Crown Publishers).

 

Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ( Part II and III, p.109 – 269)

 

Taleb, N.N. 2008. THE FOURTH QUADRANT: A MAP OF THE LIMITS OF STATISTICS. (Avaliable at: https://www.edge.org/conversation/nassim_nicholas_taleb-the-fourth-quadrant-a-map-of-the-limits-of-statistics )

 

Schneider, Gerald, Gleditsch, Nils Petter, and Carey, Sabine (2011). Forecasting in International Relations: One Quest, Three Approaches. Conflict Management and Peace Science, 28(1):5–14.

 

Goldstone, Jack A., Bates, Robert H., Epstein, David L., Gurr, Ted Robert, Lustik, Michael B., Marshall, Monty G., Ulfelder, Jay, and Woodward, Mark (2010). A Global Model for Forecasting Political Instability. American Journal of Political Science, 54(1):190–208

 

Schrodt, Philip A (2012). Precedents, Progress, and Prospects in Political Event Data. International Interactions, 38(4):546–569

 

Feder, Stanley A. (2002). Forecasting for Policy Making in the Post-Cold War Period. Annual Review of Political Science, 5(1):111–125.

 

Green, Kesten C. (2002). Forecasting Decisions in Conflict Situations: A Comparison of Game Theory, Role-playing, and Unaided Judgment. International Journal of Forecasting, 18(3):321–344.

 

List of additional readings will be provided at the beginning of the semester. 

 

Written
Oral
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Portfolio
Portfolio exam
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • English
  • 28