Category: Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

The Latest from Bruce Bueno De Mesquita who argues that gerrymandering gives incumbents a wildly unfair advantage.

Over the last 30 years, Mesquita has developed a series of mathematical models for forecasting how people interact in complex situations (



“Good Magazine ran an interview recently with a man they call The New Nostradamus. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita uses a mathematical model that is based entirely on game theory to predict the outcomes of political conflicts. He takes a very literal interpretation of the phrase “political science” and focuses his analysis strictly on issues of strategic interest, ignoring any cultural or historical aspects of the parties involved. Read More>>>>


He believes that the theory of rational choice can accurately predict the actions of any political actors as long as the data underpinning the determination of interests are correct. An analysis of his model’s predictive abilities done by the CIA found it to be accurate 90 percent of the time.”

Future Predictions Expert

The Dictator’s Handbook
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita (Author), Alastair Smith (Author)
September 2011
Not Yet Published
Hardcover · 336 Pages
$27.99 U.S. · $32.50 CAN
ISBN 9781610390446

Picture Source:

Criticism of Bueno de Mesquita:
Where is the beef? Asks Moshe Sniedovich who reviews Bueno De Mesquita’s work.

He points out that Bruce Bueno de Mesquita does not provide the details of the models he uses for the predictions. Moshe produced the presentation: Black Swans, Modern Nostradamuses, Voodoo Decision Theories, and the Science of Decision-Making in the Face of Severe Uncertainty (PDF), with a detailed review of his objections and arguments in a examination of the body of work.

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita recent prediction:

“Some other Middle East countries won’t see riots in the streets or experience governments under siege, says Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution who has a track record of accurate predictions. And Iran is unlikely to go nuclear, he tells Newsmax.TV.”

More on Bruce Bueno de Mesquita’s Crystal Ball, Read More>>>>

Is Bruce Bueno de Mesquita the next Nostradamus?

Timeline For Nostradamus Predictions

Source:” Read More>>>>

“—December 14, 1503: Michel de Nostredame is born in St. Remy-de-Provence.

—1522-25: Nostradamus studies medicine at the university in Montpellier.

—1529: Nostradamus begins doctoral studies in medicine at Montpellier Medical School.

—Early 1530s: Nostradamus is invited to the home of philosopher Julius-Cesar Scaliger in Agen and works as a healer there.

—Circa 1534: Nostradamus marries and has two children.

—Circa 1537: Nostradamus’s wife and children are infected with the plague and die. His wife’s family subsequently sues him for the return of her dowry and his friendship with Scaliger sours.

—Circa 1538: After being charged with heresy for an inadvertent remark he made about a church statue, Nostradamus leaves the region rather than stand trial before the Inquisition at Toulouse. He reportedly travels around Italy and other parts of France for a number of years.

—1544: Nostradamus studies plague treatments with physician Louis Serre in Marseilles. Around this time, major flooding in southern France leads to another serious plague outbreak in the following years.

—1546: Nostradamus treats plague victims in Aix and then goes to Salon to battle another outbreak.

—1547: Nostradamus marries Anne Ponsarde and settles in Salon, where the couple go on to have six children.

—1550: Nostradamus publishes his first almanac, which contains a general prediction for each month of the year. The almanac is a success and new versions appear annually until Nostradamus’ death.

—1552: Nostradamus finishes a book about cosmetics and fruit preservatives that is popular when it’s published three years later.

—1555: The first installment (centuries 1 through 3 and part of 4) of Nostradamus’ most ambitious project, “Les Propheties,” is published. The remainder of Century 4 along with centuries 5, 6 and 7 are published later that year.

—1556: Nostradamus is called to Paris for a consultation with the French queen Catherine de Medici.

—1558: Centuries 8, 9 and 10 are published in limited release. It’s possible Nostradamus wanted this work more widely distributed only after his death.

—1559: King Henry II killed in a jousting accident. Nostradamus’ supporters believe the monarch’s death was predicted in Century 1, Quatrain 35.

—1560s: Nostradamus is named royal physician to French monarchy.

—1564: Catherine de Medici visits Nostradamus in Salon. She remains a loyal supporter despite criticism heaped upon Nostradamus by his detractors.

—July 1, 1566: Nostradamus is given last rites by Catholic priest. The prophet correctly predicts he’ll be dead by the following day.

—July 2, 1566: Nostradamus dies at home in Salon at age 62.”


“We found that [national intelligence] analyses, even when they were right, were vague compared to [Bueno de Mesquita's] forecasts. If you hit the target, that’s great. But if you hit the bull’s eye-that’s amazing.”

Stanley Feder, former CIA analyst


One of the Foreign Policy Top 100 Global Thinkers

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita is a political scientist, professor at New York University, and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He specializes in international relations, foreign policy, and nation building. He is also one of the authors of the selectorate theory.

He has founded a company, Mesquita & Roundell, that specializes in making political and foreign-policy forecasts using a computer model based on game theory and rational choice theory. He is also the director of New York University’s Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy.

If you listen to Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, and a lot of people don’t, he’ll claim that mathematics can tell you the future. In fact, the professor says that a computer model he built and has perfected over the last 25 years can predict the outcome of virtually any international conflict, provided the basic input is accurate. What’s more, his predictions are alarmingly specific. His fans include at least one current presidential hopeful, a gaggle of Fortune 500 companies, the CIA, and the Department of Defense.

To verify the accuracy of his model, the CIA set up a kind of forecasting face-off that pit predictions from his model against those of Langley’s more traditional in-house intelligence analysts and area specialists. “We tested Bueno de Mesquita’s model on scores of issues that were conducted in real time—that is, the forecasts were made before the events actually happened,” says Stanley Feder, a former high-level CIA analyst. “We found the model to be accurate 90 percent of the time,” he wrote. Another study evaluating Bueno de Mesquita’s real-time forecasts of 21 policy decisions in the European community concluded that “the probability that the predicted outcome was what indeed occurred was an astounding 97 percent.” What’s more, Bueno de Mesquita’s forecasts were much more detailed than those of the more traditional analysts. “The real issue is the specificity of the accuracy,” says Feder. “We found that DI (Directorate of National Intelligence) analyses, even when they were right, were vague compared to the model’s forecasts. To use an archery metaphor, if you hit the target, that’s great. But if you hit the bull’s eye—that’s amazing.”

Other Books

Principles of International Politics: People’s Power, Preferences, and Perceptions 4th Edition 2009; 3rd Edition 2006; 2nd Edition 2003; First Edition 2000. All Editions: Washington, D.C: CQ Press.

Prediction: Breakthroughs in Science, Markets and Politics (edited with Frank Wayman and Paul Williamson). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010.

Strategy of Campaigning (with Kiron Skinner, Serhiy Kudelia, and Condoleezza Rice). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007.

Dissolving Boundaries (with Suzanne Werner and David Davis, eds.). London: Basil Blackwell Publishers, 2004. Also published as a special issue of International Studies Review. Volume 5, No. 4, 2004.

The Logic of Political Survival (with Alastair Smith, Randolph M. Siverson, and James D. Morrow), Cambridge, MASS: MIT Press, 2003. Paperback edition, 2005. Award for Best Book on Conflict, 2002-2003, Conflict Processes Section, American Political Science Association.

Applying the Strategic Perspective: Problems and Models (with D. Scott Bennett). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2003. Second Edition workbook for Principles of International Politics, 2nd edition. 3rd edition with Leanne C. Powner and D. Scott Bennett. 4th edition with Leanne C. Powner.

Predicting Politics. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 2002. Simultaneous publication in cloth and paperback.

The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 2001. Simultaneous publication in cloth and paperback editions.

Governing for Prosperity (with Hilton Root, eds.), New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. Simultaneous publication in cloth and paperback editions. Translated into Chinese, China Renmin University Press, 2007.

Red Flag Over Hong Kong (with David Newman and Alvin Rabushka), Chatham, NJ: Chatham House, 1996. Paperback edition in 1996. South China Morning Post, Best Seller List 1996. Translated into Japanese 1997.

European Community Decision Making: Models, Applications, and Comparisons (with Frans Stokman, eds.). New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994.

War and Reason (with David Lalman). New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992. Paperback edition in 1994.

Forecasting Political Events: The Future of Hong Kong (with David Newman and Alvin Rabushka). New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985. Paperback edition in 1988.

The War Trap. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981. Paperback edition in 1983. Excerpted in John A. Vasquez and Marie T. Henehan, eds. The Scientific Study of Peace and War. New York: Lexington Books, 1992, pp. 141-160.

India’s Political System, revised edition (with Richard L. Park). Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1979.

Strategy, Risk, and Personality in Coalition Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1975.


“A Political Economy of Aid,” (with Alastair Smith). International Organization. 63, 2 (Spring 2009):309-340.

“Political Survival and Endogenous Institutional Change,” (with Alastair Smith). Comparative Political Studies 42, 2 (February 2009): 167-197. Winner, 2008 Franklin L. Burdette/Pi Sigma Alpha Award for best paper presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. Winner, 2007 Best Paper Award, Political Economy Section of the American Political Science Association.

“War and Rationality,” in Manus Midlarsky, ed., Handbook of War Studies III. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, forthcoming 2009.

“Foreign Policy Analysis and Rational Choice Models,” in Compendium Project, International Studies Association, forthcoming 2009.

“Some Stylized Views of War’s Causes,” in Gregory Hess, ed., Title Not Yet Determined, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, forthcoming 2009.

“Retesting Selectorate Theory: Separating the Effects of W from Other Elements of Democracy,” (with James D. Morrow, Randolph M. Siverson and Alastair Smith). American Political Science Review 1022, 3 (August, 2008):pp. 393-400.

“Leopold II and the Selectorate: An Account in Contrast to a Racial Explanation,” Historical Social Research [Historische Sozialforschung], 32, 4 (2007): 203-221.
“Foreign Aid and Policy Concessions,” (with Alastair Smith). Journal of Conflict Resolution. 51 (April 2007): 251-284.

“Game Theory, Political Economy, and the Evolving Study of War and Peace,” American Political Science Review, (November, 2006):637-642.

“Intervention and Democracy,” (with George W. Downs) International Organization 60, 3 (July 2006):627-49.

“Complements in the Quest for Understanding Comparative Politics,” APSA-CP Newsletter 17 (Summer 2006):11-14.

“Selection Institutions and War Aims,” (with James D. Morrow, Randolph M. Siverson, and Alastair Smith) Economics of Governance, 7, 1 (2006):31-52.

“Central Issues in the Study of International Conflict” in Barry Weingast and Donald Witman, eds. Oxford Handbook of Political Economy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, pp.831-51.
“Thinking Inside the Box: A Closer Look at Democracy and Human Rights,” (with Feryal Cherif, George W. Downs, and Alastair Smith) International Studies Quarterly. 49, 3 (September 2005):439-457. Reprinted in Todd Lanman, ed., Human Rights. Sage Publications: 2009.
“The Rise of Sustainable Autocracy,” (with George W. Downs). Foreign Affairs, 84, 5 (September/October 2005):77-86.

“Testing Competing Institutional Explanations of the Democratic Peace: The Case of Dispute Duration,” (with Michael T. Koch and Randolph M. Siverson) Conflict Management and Peace Science (Winter 2004), 255-68.

“Testing Novel Implications from the Selectorate Theory of War,” (with James D. Morrow, Randolph M. Siverson, and Alastair Smith) World Politics 56 (April 2004), 363-88.
“The Methodical Study of Politics,” in Ian Shapiro, Rogers M. Smith, and Tarek E. Masoud, eds. Problems and Methods in the Study of Politics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp. 227-47.

“Negotiation in International Politics,” Conflict Management and Peace Science 21 (Fall 2004), 155-58.

“The ‘National Interest’ Versus Individual Political Ambition: Democracy, Autocracy, and the Reciprocation of Force and Violence in Militarized Interstate Disputes,” (with James Ray) in Paul Diehl, ed., The Scourge of War: New Extensions on an Old Problem. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2004, pp. 94-119.

“Decision Making Models, Rigor, and New Puzzles,” European Union Politics 2004, 5 (1):125-138.

“Crossing No Man’s Land: Cooperation from the Trenches,” (with Rose McDermott). 2004. Political Psychology 25, 2:271-287.

“Getting Firm on Replication,” International Studies Perspectives February 2003, Volume 4, pp. 98-100.


Feature Story by Clive Thompson. The New York Times Sunday Magazine Section. August 9, 2009.

Feature Story, “In NBC Deal, Learn from Game Theory” by Dennis K. Berman, Wall Street Journal, October 14, 2009.

“Bruce Bueno de Mesquita,,” Feature Interview by Sara Forrest, Computer World 43, 22 (June 22, 2009), pp. 16-17.

“The Next Nostradamus,” History Channel, December 1, 2008.

Cover Story: “The New Nostradamus,” by Michael Lerner. Good Magazine, November/December 2007 Issue.

“Politics Begins at the Water’s Edge,” (with Kiron Skinner, Serhiy Kudelia and Condoleezza Rice). Op Ed page, The New York Times, September 15, 2007.

“Game Theory,” Feature interview by Maryann Keady, August 10, 2007,
EconTalk, “Bueno de Mesquita on Reagan, Yeltsin, and the Strategy of Political Campaigning,” July 23, 2007,
EconTalk, “Bruce Bueno de Mesquita on Democracies and Dictatorships,” February 12, 2007,
“Open Economie, Gesloten Samenleving,” (with George W. Downs) De Volkskrant, September 3, 2005, p. 3.

“An Open Economy, a Closed Society,” (with George W. Downs) International Herald Tribune, August 17, 2005, Op Ed page.

“Gun-Barrel Democracy Has Failed Time and Again,” (with George W. Downs) Los Angeles Times, February 4, 2004, Op Ed page.

“Preventing Future Enrons,” The Weekly Standard, April 15, 2002, p. 45; also published in The New Republic, April 22, 2002, p. 13.

“A Leaky Umbrella for Nuclear Stability,” The Record, Bergen County, NJ, August 14, 2001. Also published in The Weekly Standard, September 3, 2001, p. 41; The New Republic, September 10, 2001, p. 15; Reason, November 2001, p. 67.

“Tying Mideast Peace to Tourism Dollars Worth Try,” Houston Chronicle, Outlook, June 26, 2001, 3 Star, p. 19. Also published as “Tourism Money Could Make Difference in Mideast Conflict,” Contra Costa Times, News Section Final Edition, p. 11., July 1, 2001; “Creating Incentives for Israeli-Palestinian Peace,” The Weekly Standard, July 16, 2001, p. 41; “Creating Incentives for Israeli-Palestinian Peace,” National Review, July 23, 2001, p. 9. “Creating Incentives for Israeli-Palestinian Peace,” The New Republic, July 23, 2001, p. 13.

“New Tools for Negotiators,” The McKinsey Quarterly, 2, 2001. Feature Article by Tera Allas and Nikos Georgiades regarding use of my forecasting model by McKinsey Consulting.
“Science Solves the Problem of Deals,” The Independent (Focus Article), London, February 16, 2000. Feature Article by Diane Coyle.

“Why Politics Should Not Stop at the Water’s Edge,” The Weekly Standard, 5, 9, November 15, 1999, last page.

“IMF Loans Must Be Linked To Reform,” (with James D. Morrow and Hilton L. Root). Los Angeles Times, April 9, 1999.

“How Project Super Bowl Won the Day,” The Financial Times, January 23-24, 1999, p. 2. Feature Article by Hugo Dixon and Alexander Nicoll regarding use of my forecasting model by Decision Insights Inc.

“Bomb Tests: What India Really Wants,” MSNBC, May 15, 1998.

“Current Research,” The Chronicle of Higher Education. September 5, 1997, p. B7.

“For Hong Kong, a Bleak Future Under Beijing,” (with David Newman and Alvin Rabushka) The International Herald Tribune, July 1, 1996.

Red Flag Over Hong Kong featured in William McGurn “We Warned You,” Far Eastern Economic Review, June 13, 1996, p. 68.

“Repeal Order 12333,” (with David Newman) The New York Times, Sec. 1, p. 16, January 26, 1989.

“A Model of Power in a Global Market,” Information Week (June 13, 1988) pp. 42-46.

Feature Interview, “The World of Tomorrow,” Bottom Line, March 30, 1984.

“Freeze Could Heat Arms Scene,” Chicago Tribune, Sec. 1, p. 15, February 16, 1983 and reprinted in numerous other newspapers.

Feature Interview on Forecasts for 1984, Today Show, NBC News, December 27, 1983.
Feature Interview, “A Conversation with Bruce Bueno de Mesquita: Where War is Likely in the Next Year or Two,” U.S. News and World Report, May 3, 1982.

“How to Make a Lasting Peace in the Middle East,” (with Bruce D. Berkowitz) Rochester Review (Spring, 1979), pp. 12-18.


Copenhagen will produce a feel-good agreement that will do nothing to counter global warming, says Bueno de Mesquita.

This Carnegie Council event took place on October 1, 2009. For complete video, audio, and transcript, go to

Predictably the other side of the story, those reviewing Bruce Bueno de Mesquita
Riz Khan – The art and science of prediction