Introduction: Forecasting in peace research

Journal article

Hegre, Håvard; Håvard Mokleiv Nygård; Julian Wucherpfennig & Nils W. Metternich (2017) Introduction: Forecasting in peace research, Journal of Peace Research 54 (2): 113–124.

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Prediction and forecasting have now fully reached peace and conflict research. We define forecasting as predictions about unrealized outcomes given model estimates from realized data, and predictions more generally as the assignment of probability distributions to realized or unrealized outcomes. Increasingly, scholars present within- and outof-sample prediction results in their publications and sometimes even forecasts for unrealized, future outcomes. The articles in this special issue demonstrate the ability of current approaches to forecast events of interest and contributes to the formulation of best practices for forecasting within peace research. We highlight the role of forecasting for theory evaluation and as a bridge between academics and policymakers, summarize the contributions in the special issue, and provide some thoughts on how research on forecasting in peace research should proceed. We suggest some best practices, noting the importance of theory development, interpretability of models, replicability of results, and data collection.

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