Mackinder Forum Virtual Seminar #56: Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, “Predicting Threats to Stability and National Security”

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On Saturday, May 7, 2022, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Eastern US Time, Professor Bruce Bueno de Mesquita addressed the Mackinder Forum Seminar on “Predicting Threats to Stability and National Security.”

Abstract: Accurate anticipation of destabilizing political events is no longer in the realm of guesswork or the product of undocumented “wisdom.” Rather, The Predictioneer’s Game provides a well-tested, documented capability to anticipate the outcome of policy issues at the micro level regardless of how many stakeholders are involved in shaping choices. The Selectorate theory complements the Predictioneer’s Game by providing macro-level predictions of the risks polities face of coups, revolutions, democratization or “autocratization.” These game theoretic approaches to prediction will be illustrated with prior results regarding Iran’s nuclear program and current results regarding Ukraine’s vulnerability to invasion.

Biography: Bruce Bueno de Mesquita is Julius Silver Professor of Politics at NYU, Senior Fellow Emeritus at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and a partner in Selectors, LLC, a consulting firm that uses his game theory models to address government and business problems. His doctorate in political science is from the University of Michigan (1971). He received doctorates (Honoris Causa) from the University of Groningen (1999) and the University of Haifa (2016). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Council on Foreign Relations, a former Guggenheim Fellow, the 2007 recipient of South Korea’s DMZ Peace Prize, former president of the International Studies Association and recipient of many other honors. Foreign Policy magazine designated Bueno de Mesquita as among the Top 100 Global Thinkers.

Bueno de Mesquita’s recent books include The Invention of Power: Popes, Kings and the Birth of the West, The Spoils of War (with Alastair Smith); The Dictator’s Handbook (with Alastair Smith); The Predictioneer’s Game, and The Logic of Political Survival (with Alastair Smith, Randolph Siverson, and James Morrow). He is the author of 24 books and more than 140 articles, and numerous pieces in major newspapers as well as the subject of feature stories in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, US News and World Reports, The Independent, The Financial Times, Good Magazine, and a 2-hour documentary about his political forecasting.


“Red, White and Peaceful: Advancing U.S. Security through Peaceful Means,” (with Kiron Skinner) The National Interest, December 15, 2014, available at

“Ukraine’s Last Best Hope,” (with Alastair Smith) Foreign Affairs, May 7, 2014 available at

Professor Bueno de Mewquita also suggests watching his TED talk: