Jay Ulfelder

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Jay Ulfelder is a political scientist in the United States who works in the realm of political forecasting, specifically forecasting about political development and instability of different forms around the world.[1][2] He maintains a blog titled Dart-Throwing Chimp that includes commentary on his work and on geopolitical forecasting at large.[3] He is the former research director of the Political Instability Task Force commission by the Central Intelligence Agency.[1][4][5]


Ulfelder is an occasional contributor to Foreign Policy.[6] One of his pieces on why forecasting political violence and unusual situations around the world was considerably harder than forecasting the results of elections in the United States[7] received a lengthy response from Ward and Mitternich.[8]

Ulfelder has been interviewed by Strife blog[5] and by the Center for Data Innovation.[9]

Ulfelder has also been cited and quoted as an expert on political forecasting and political instability in the New York Times[10][11][12] and the Washington Post.[13][14][15]


  1. ^ a b Ulfelder, Jay. "About". Dart-Throwing Chimp. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  2. ^ "Jay Ulfelder". Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  3. ^ Ulfelder, Jay. "Dart-Throwing Chimp". Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  4. ^ "Political Instability Task Force Home". Center for Global Policy. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Comley, David (January 17, 2014). "Interview with Jay Ulfelder, Former Research Director at the Political Instability Task Force". Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  6. ^ "Jay Ulfelder". Foreign Policy. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  7. ^ Ulfelder, Jay (November 8, 2012). "Why the World Can't Have a Nate Silver. The quants are riding high after Team Data crushed Team Gut in the U.S. election forecasts. But predicting the Electoral College vote is child's play next to some of these hard targets". Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  8. ^ Ward, Michael D.; Metternich, Nils (November 16, 2012). "Predicting the Future Is Easier Than It Looks. Nate Silver was just the beginning. Some of the same statistical techniques used by America's forecaster-in-chief are about to revolutionize world politics". Foreign Policy. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  9. ^ Korte, Travis (February 28, 2014). "5 Q's for Social Science Forecasting Expert Jay Ulfelder". Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  10. ^ Sengupta, Somini (March 22, 2014). "Spreadsheets and Global Mayhem". New York Times. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  11. ^ Cowen, Tyler (March 15, 2014). "Crimea Through a Game-Theory Lens". New York Times. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  12. ^ Cohen, Micah (April 6, 2012). "Reads and Reactions". New York Times. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  13. ^ Fisher, Max (December 3, 2013). "Thailand has had more coups than any other country. This is why". Washington Post. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  14. ^ Fisher, Max (January 28, 2014). "A worrying map of the countries most likely to have a coup in 2014". Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  15. ^ Klein, Ezra (August 12, 2011). "A global political stress test". Retrieved June 3, 2014.

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