Political Analysis or Fortune-Telling by Crystal-Ball? Western Think Tanks' Challenges with Forecasting Putin's War
Publication Type:Journal article preview
Source:Connections: The Quarterly Journal, Volume 21, Issue 3, p.9-28 (2022)
Keywords:big data, conflict, content analysis, escalation, full-scale invasion, political analysis, Russia, Ukraine, war
Abstract:This article analyzes major western think tanks’ forecasts, experts’ opinions, and US and UK media content regarding the future of Ukraine-Russia relationships in the year preceding Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Though the Russian-Ukrainian war has been ongoing since the occupation of Crimea and quasi-republics (“Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics”) were established in 2014, not many political analysts foresaw the coming of the bloodiest and most devastating war since WWII. At the same time, Big Data content analysis of US and UK media demonstrated the presence of markers of an approaching full-scale invasion. Correct-based estimation of the likelihood of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as Ukraine’s willingness and ability to protect its sovereignty, was crucial for shaping the appropriate response of the Collective West.