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Professor Thomas Chadefaux

Professor in Political Science (Political Science)

Thomas Chadefaux holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan, and an M.A. from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva. Prior to becoming an assistant Professor of Political Science at Trinity College Dublin, he has been a visiting assistant professor in the department of political science at the University of Rochester and a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich.
  BARGAINING   BARGAINING POWER   BARGAINING THEORY   civil war   CONFLICT   Econometrics/Forecasting   FORECASTING   Game Theory   international conflict   Interstate war
(ii) Evaluate the utility of these patterns to improve forecasts of conflict with both historical and live out-of-sample predictions. Our results, using shape-based classification methods, will be made public and evaluated in real time. Moreover, using new measures of complexity to distinguish regular, chaotic, and random behavior, I will measure possible fundamental limits to the predictability of conflict events.
(iii) Summarize the core features of dangerous patterns into motifs-recurring patterns-that can help build new theories of conflict emergence and escalation. PaCE will build a repository of shapes-a grammar of patterns-to be used as the building blocks of new theories. ( - )">
 Patterns of Conflict Emergence
 The steps to war: Developing an automated pattern recognition system for conflict
 The Patterns of Conflict Escalation: Why leaders, markets, and analysts fail to anticipate wars
 Explaining the variation in refugee flows: the effect of rebel group dynamics in civil conflicts
 Explaining variation in the diffusion of civil wars: the role of short-term triggers.

Details Date
. Editorial Board Member, Data Science
Journal reviewer
I have reviewed article manuscripts for the following journals (in alphabetical order):
Advances in Complex Systems, American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, British Journal of Political Science, Conflict Management and Peace Science, Empirical Economics, International Interactions, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Journal of Global Security Studies, Journal of Information Technology \& Politics, Journal of Mathematical Sociology, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Politics, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, PLoS One, Political Science Research and Methods.
External examiner, PhD viva, University of St Andrews Jan. 2020
External examiner, hiring committee, UCD 2018
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Fluent Fluent Fluent
German Fluent Medium Medium
Japanese Basic Basic Basic
Details Date From Date To
American Political Science Association 2004
American Economic Association 2009
Midwest Political Science Association 2005
Turkoglu Oguzhan, Chadefaux Thomas, The effect of terrorist attacks on attitudes and its duration, Political Science Research and Methods , 2022, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Boussalis, C., Chadefaux, T., Decadri, S., Salvi, A., Public and Private Information in International Crises: Diplomatic Correspondence and Conflict Anticipation, International Studies Quarterly, 2022, Journal Article, ACCEPTED  TARA - Full Text
Thomas Chadefaux, Oguzhan Turkoglu, Replication Data for: The effect of terrorist attacks on attitudes and its duration, Journal of Peace Research, 2021, Dataset, PUBLISHED  DOI
Thomas Chadefaux, A shape-based approach to conflict forecasting, International Interactions, 2021, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
Thomas Chadefaux, What the enemy knows: Common knowledge and the rationality of war, British Journal of Political Science, 50, (4), 2020, p1593 - 1607, Notes: [], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Thomas Chadefaux, Nowhere to go: Why do some civil wars generate more refugees than others?, International Interactions, 45, (2), 2019, p401 - 420, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Thomas Chadefaux, Conflict Forecasting and its Limits, Data Science, 1, (1), 2018, p1 - 11, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Spaiser, Viktoria, Thomas Chadefaux, Karsten Donnay and Dirk Helbing., Communication power struggles on social media: A case study of the 2011-12 Russian protests, Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 2017, p1 - 47, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Thomas Chadefaux, Market Anticipations of Conflict Onsets. , Journal of Peace Research , 54, (2), 2017, p1 - 18, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Thomas Chadefaux, Market Anticipations of Conflict Onset, UCD, Dublin, 2016, Invited Talk, ACCEPTED

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Thomas Chadefaux, The Triggers of War: Disentangling the Spark from the Powder Keg., 2014, Working Paper, SUBMITTED


Award Date
Best paper award, American Political Science Review 2018
Best Paper award, Oxford, "Internet, Politics, Policy" conference Sept. 2012
Best visualisation award 2014
Best visualisation award, Journal of Peace Research 2014
There have been more than 200 wars since the start of the 20th century, leading to about 35 million battle deaths. This recurrence of wars despite their tremendous economic, social and institutional costs, may suggest that we are doomed to repeat the errors of the past. Unfortunately, we still know little about the predictability of conflict.

In particular, are forecasting failures due to limitations of our models, data, or assumptions? Or are there simply aspects of conflicts that will always remain fundamentally unpredictable? Are there systematic patterns in the escalation and emergence of conflict, and can these patterns be clustered and classified in meaningful ways that help us improve future forecast?

My current research generally focuses on the causes of interstate conflict and on their prediction. In particular, I rely on large amounts of fine-grained spatial and temporal data (e.g., newspapers, satellite images, financial markets) to reveal early warning signals for war. Of special interest is whether decision-makers correctly anticipate the risks of war, or rather `sleepwalk' into conflict. Estimating their perceptions of risk is therefore central to my work, which relies on financial data, text analysis of news reports and of diplomatic cables to understand when and how leaders, journalists and the public anticipate wars. Methodologically, my work relies mostly on statistical methods and machine learning approaches.

This work leads to three main types of outputs. First, empirical contributions to the question of observers' perceptions of risk. If we can identify the causes of underestimation of risk, we can suggest corrections to learn from history. Second, forecasts of conflicts--here I seek to build on and improve existing forecasts as part of an international network, and on that basis to advise governments (e.g., German Department of Foreign affairs) and international organisations (e..g, EU). Finally, the work leads to theoretical contributions using game theory to better understand the causes of war. This work has been published in the field's top journals.