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Predicting the Future in Science, Economics, and Politics

Edited by Frank Whelon Wayman, University of Michigan, Dearborn, US, the late Paul R. Williamson, formerly Global Vision, Inc., US, Solomon Polachek, Binghamton University, SUNY, US and Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, New York University, US
It is a puzzle that while academic research has increased in specialization, the important and complex problems facing humans urgently require a synthesis of understanding. This unique collaboration attempts to address such a problem by bringing together a host of prominent scholars from across the sciences to offer new insights into predicting the future. They demonstrate that long-term trends and short-term incentives need to be understood in order to adopt effective policies, or even to comprehend where we currently stand and the sort of future that awaits us.
Extent: 528 pp
Hardback Price: $185.00 Web: $166.50
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN: 978 1 78347 186 7
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Game Theory
  • International Economics
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • International Politics
  • International Relations
It is a puzzle that while academic research has increased in specialization, the important and complex problems facing humans urgently require a synthesis of understanding. This unique collaboration attempts to address such a problem by bringing together a host of prominent scholars from across the sciences to offer new insights into predicting the future. They demonstrate that long-term trends and short-term incentives need to be understood in order to adopt effective policies, or even to comprehend where we currently stand and the sort of future that awaits us.

Developing novel techniques to forecast global conditions, the authors tackle important questions such as: What does the future hold? How can we sustain prosperity? Are we likely to have less war and genocide? Are nuclear weapons destined to spread to unstable countries? What environmental scarcities and conflicts are we likely to face? Each chapter is built around cause and effect relationships based on empirical evidence that creates a unified predictive model of global economic and political conditions. The limits and possibilities of scientific prediction are also explored, as are the physical, biological, and social properties of the global system.

This book will have a wide appeal among physical and social scientists interested in the linkages between scientific method and the prediction of future human behavior and global conditions.
Contributors: R.D. Alexander, B. Bueno de Mesquita, J.D. Farmer, J. Geanakoplos, J. Holland, S. di Iorio, M.S. Karasik, U. Luterbacher, S.W. Polachek, D. Rohner, G. Schneider, J.D. Singer, D.F. Sprinz, A. Tago, F.W. Wayman, E. Wiegandt, D. Wilkinson, P.R. Williamson, E.O. Wilson
Contents:

Preface and Introduction: Overview of Why this Book Matters
Frank W. Wayman, Paul R. Williamson, Solomon W. Polachek and Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

PART I. THE PROMISE OF GLOBAL FORECASTING
1. Scientific Prediction and the Human Condition
Frank W. Wayman

2. Organizing Diverse Contributions to Global Forecasting
Paul R. Williamson

PART II. HUMAN NATURE AND PREDICTION
Editors' Introduction to Part II
Frank W. Wayman

3. Consilience: the Role of Human Nature in the Emergence of Social Artifacts
Edward O. Wilson

4. Darwin's Challenges and the Future of Human Society
Richard Alexander

PART III. THE VALUE OF THE FUTURE
Editors' Introduction to Part III
Frank W. Wayman

5. Properly Discounting the Future: Using Predictions in an Uncertain World
J. Doyne Farmer and John Geanakoplos

6. Long-Term Policy Problems: Definition, Origins, and Responses
Detlef F. Sprinz

7. Explaining and Predicting Future Environmental Scarcities and Conflict
Urs Luterbacher, Dominic Rohner and Ellen Wiegandt

PART IV. SOME PROBLEMS ADDRESSED VIA MODELING
Editors' Introduction to Part IV
Frank W. Wayman

8. Forecasting nuclear weapons proliferation: a hazard model
Atsushi Tago and J. David Singer

9. Forecasting Political Developments with the Help of Financial Markets
Gerald Schneider

PART V. THE GLOBAL SYSTEM AND THE POSSIBILITIES OF PREDICTION
Editors' Introduction to Part V
Frank W. Wayman

10. Glimpses of the Future
John Holland

11. Forecasting the Evolution of Cultural Collisions Using Annealing-Nucleation Models
Myron S. Karasik

12. Power Structure Fluctuations in the "Longue Durée" of the World System
David Wilkinson

13. From Altruism to the Future Frequency of War: How Consilient Explanation Differs from Prediction
Frank W. Wayman

14. System Change and Richardson Processes: Application of Social Field Theory
Paul R. Williamson

15. Computational Dynamic Modeling of the Global State Space
Paul R. Williamson

PART VI. NEW APPROACHES
16. Scientific Revolutions and the Advancement of Explanation and Prediction
Frank W. Wayman

17. Innovations in Forecasting the Future that One Can Learn from Prediction
Solomon W. Polachek

18. Predicting the Future to Shape the Future
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

Index