Can models developed to explain international politics be used to predict? That is, do we have theories or models that would predict the war in Syria before its onset? Are international relations theories capable of informing decision makers about where the next international crisis will occur? In general, the view within the discipline is that such prediction is not possible – theories of international politics can explain, but they can not predict. In this article, I argue that this view is flawed. First, in most situations, there is little or no theoretical reason to distinguish between explanation and prediction in the first place. Second, more and more evidence points in the direction that international relations is perfectly capable of predicting phenomena of interest to international politics scholars and practitioners. International politics as a discipline will become both theoretically more interesting and more useful for decision makes, if we start more actively to pursue prediction.
Nygård, Håvard Mokleiv (2015) Prediksjon i internasjonal politikk [Predicting international politics], Internasjonal Politikk 73 (4): 467–487.