Assessing the Accuracy of Genocide Forecasts: 2011-2015

Stream: Panel 54 - International Relations: Forecasting and Prediction 
Date: Tuesday, 27 September 2016
Time: 4.00 pm – 5.30 pm


In this paper we make a first attempt at assessing the accuracy of our forecasts of “genocide and politicide” onsets for the period 2011-2015 against the historical record. Our group, the Atrocity Forecasting Project, made our forecasts public in 2012, therefore we especially focus on the 2013-2015 period. We also compare the accuracy of our forecasts to those of other groups such as the Political Instability Task Force and Genocide Watch. We draw lessons for both genocide forecasting and forecasting assessment. The project builds on the current academic literature, and employs econometric and machine-learning based forecasting techniques, which can greatly enhance analytical capacity in combination with standard qualitative and quantitative social science methods. The forecasts are intended to be used in combination with other quantitative and qualitative analysis and expert knowledge.


Benjamin Goldsmith (Presenter), University of Sydney