Håvard Hegre presents the VIEWS armed conflict early-warning system and discusses the uncertainties of armed conflict forecasting in light of a review of its performance. There are still several sources of uncertainty. At the most fundamental level, decisions to use armed force are always associated with aspects of deception, hidden agendas, misrepresentation and bluffing, as well as over-confidence and sheer incompetence. According to rationalist models of conflict, “war is in the error term”. Compounding the problem, the most surprising changes are also the ones that we are most interested in – early-warning systems arguable are more useful if they can predict the unexpected, maybe even at the expense of predicting the expected conflicts.
Håvard Hegre is Dag Hammarskjöld Professor of Peace and Conflict Research at the University of Uppsala and Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). He is currently Visiting Fellow at CAS.
Moderation: Prof. Dr. Katrin Paula (TUM)
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