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Course Description

How do we understand and prepare for the future? What makes some people good at making predictions? What does the future hold for international affairs? Being able to accurately forecast global trends and events can have many benefits. For individuals, it can inform career decisions, investment choices, and personal planning, allowing them to better navigate an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. For organizations, it can inform strategic planning and decision-making, allowing them to better prepare for and respond to potential future occurrences. For governments, accurate forecasting can be crucial for developing effective policies and strategies at all levels to address a wide range of issues, from economic development to national security. The capacity to make clear probabilistic forecasts and keep score on them can help reduce uncertainty and risk by providing a better understanding of the potential outcomes of different actions and policies. That can be particularly important in times of instability, when the possible consequences of decisions may be difficult to predict. This course will help give participants the tools and knowledge they need to see into the future. We will delve into some traditional forecasting methods and explore their utility in international relations scholarship and policymaking. Throughout this course, participants will be tasked with reflecting on pre-class resources, actively participating in class discussions, and regularly making predictions about global trends and events. Selected articles, think tank reports, book chapters, TED talks, recorded lectures, and podcast episodes will be made available by the instructor online. Participants will need to obtain the book listed below. Note: Course participants will be expected to read 26-50 pages per week. Required readings: Tetlock, Philip E. and Dan Gardner. Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction. New York, NY: Crown, 2015. Paperback $12.27. 

Forecasting in International Relations
Arik Burakovsky, Tufts Faculty
8 Friday, 1:30pm - 3:30pm (9/13, 9/20, 10/4, 10/11, 10/25, 11/1, 11/8, 11/15)
Classes will be held in-person on the Tufts Medford/Somerville campus.

Affiliated With:

University College