Rex J Brynen

Academic title(s): 


Rex J Brynen
Contact Information

855 Sherbrooke St. W.
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 2T7

514-398-4400 Ext 00634
514 575-7721 (mobile)
Email address: 
rex.brynen [at]

PhD, University of Calgary

Leacock 510
Office hours: 

Fall 2020 office hours 

  • There will be no in-person office hours this term due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Email me for a virtual appointment via Skype or Zoom.

My office is located in Leacock 510—but I won't be there!. I can be reached by email at rex.brynen(at)

Reference Letters

While I am always pleased to write letters of reference for former and current students, I receive literally hundreds of such requests each year. Consequently, I require a minimum of three weeks notice between receipt of all relevant materials (forms, unofficial transcript, CV) and mail-out.

Research areas: 
Comparative Government and Politics



Areas of interest: 
  • Security and development in fragile and conflict-affected states.
  • Middle East politics: Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon; Arab-Israeli peace process (with special emphasis on development assistance and refugees); regional conflict, security and development in the Middle East; authoritarianism and democratization in the Arab world.
  • Professional political-military wargaming. Conflict, peacebuilding, and development simulation.
  • Intelligence analysis and strategic forecasting.


Professional activities: 

Political and Security Policy Staff, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (1994-95)

Special Advisor, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (1995-96)

Interdepartmental Experts Group on Middle East Intelligence, Intelligence Assessment Staff, Privy Council Office (1995-2018)

Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council (2016-18)

Short-term consultant to: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canadian International Development Agency, Department of National Defence, Defence Research & Development Canada, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (UK Ministry of Defence), Global Affairs Canada, International Development Research Centre, Privy Council Office, NATO, READY Consortium/Johns Hopkins University, Slitherine Software, US Department of State, World Bank, various United Nations agencies, and others.

Selected publications: 


Serious Games

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Gaming ‘Fog and Friction’: How Simulations Enhance Student Learning of Complex Policy Processes.” In Matthew Schnurr and Ann Macleod, eds., Simulations and Student Learning: An Interdisciplinary Perspective (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2021).
    Virtual Paradox: How Digital War Has Reinvigorated Analogue Wargaming,” Digital War (Summer 2020).
  • "Crisis in Galasi - Simulating the Urban Dimensions of Religious Conflict." In Mick Dumper, ed., Contested Holy Cities: Urban Dimensions of Religious Conflicts (London: Routledge, 2019).
  • “Democracy and Security in the post-Arab Spring Middle East.” In Anders Jägerskog, Michael Schulz, and Ashok Swain, eds.,The Routledge Handbook on Middle Eastern Security (London: 2019).
  • "Crisis on the game board – a novel approach to teach medical students about disaster medicine." (with Simon Drees and Karin Geffert). GMS Journal for Medical Education 35, 4 (2018).
  • “ISIS Crisis: Using a Matrix Game to Explore Contemporary Conflict.” In John Curry, Chris Engle, and Peter Perla, eds., The Matrix Game Handbook: Professional Applications from Education to Analysis and Wargaming (History of Wargaming Project, 2018).
  • "Compensation for Palestinian Refugees: Law, Politics, and Praxis," Israel Law Review 51, 1 (2018).
  • "Here (Very Likely) Be Dragons: The Challenges of Strategic Forecasting." In Thomas Juneau, ed., Strategic Analysis and International Policy-Making: Case Studies in Achieving Analytical Relevance (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).
  • "Gaming the Non-Kinetic." In Pat Harrigan and Matthew Kirschenbaum, eds., Zones of Control: Wargaming in Analog and Digital Worlds (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2016).
  • Role-Play Games and Simulations in International Relations: An Overview,” Revista Española de Desarrollo y Cooperación 35 (Winter 2015).
  • "Teaching About Peace Operations," International Peacekeeping 21, 4 (2014).
  • "UNRWA as Avatar: Current Debates on the Agency — and their Implications." In Sari Hanafi, Leila Hilal, and Lex Takkenberg., eds. UNRWA and Palestinian Refugees: From Relief and Works to Human Development. London: Routledge, 2014.
  • "Games, Simulations, and Peacebuilding" (with Gary Milante). Simulation & Gaming 44, 1 (February 2013).
  • "Gaming Middle East Conflict," Middle East Journal, 67, 1 (Winter 2013).
  • "Refugees." In Joel Peters and David Newman, eds. The Routledge Handbook on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. (London: Routledge, 2012).
  • “The Iraq War and (non)Democratization in the Arab World.” In Mokhtar Lamani and Bessma Momani, eds. From Desolation to Reconstruction: Iraq’s Troubled Journey (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2010).
  • (Ending) Civil War in the Classroom: A Peacebuilding SimulationPS: Political Science & Politics 43 (January 2010).
  • “Palestine: Building Neither Peace Nor State” In Charles Call and Vanessa Hawkins Wyeth, eds., Building States to Build Peace (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2008).
  • “Aid as Carrot, Aid as Stick: The Politics of Aid Conditionality in the Palestinian Territories," Accord (2008).
  • “Canada's Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process”. In Paul Heinbecker and Bessma Momani, eds, Canada and the Middle East: In Theory and Practice (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2007).
  • “Managing Public Resources: The Experience of the Palestinian “Proto-State””. In James Boyce and Madalene O’Donnell, eds, Peace and the Public Purse: Economic Policies for Postwar Statebuilding (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2007).
  • (with David Romano) “The Palestinians: Finding No Freedom in Liberation” In Ray Hinnebusch and Rick Fawn, eds. The Iraq War: Causes and Consequences (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2006).
  • “Perspectives on Palestinian Refugee Repatriation” In Mick Dumper, ed. Palestinian Refugee Repatriation: Global Perspectives (London: Routledge, 2006).
  • “Donor Assistance: Lessons from Palestine for Afghanistan.” In Gerd Junne and Willemijn Verkoren, eds, Post Conflict Development: Meeting New Challenges (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2004).
  • "Cluster-bombs and Sandcastles: Kramer on the Future of Middle East Studies in America" Middle East Journal, Spring 2002.
  • "Mirror, Mirror? The Politics of TV Science Fiction." In David Schultz, ed., It's Showtime! Media, Politics and Popular Culture (Baltimore: Peter Lang, 2000).
  • "Palestine." (with Hisham Awartani and Clare Woodcraft). In Shepard Forman and Stewart Patrick, eds., Good Intentions: Pledges of Aid for Post-Conflict Recovery. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2000.
  • "Building Economic Peace and Regional Security: The Primacy of Politics" [in Arabic]. In Augustus Richard Norton, ed., al-Amin fi al-sharq al-awsat: tawjihat jadidah [Security in the Middle East: New Directions]. Palestinian Council on Foreign Relations, 1999.
  • "Recent Political Developments." In World Bank, Development Under Adversity? The Palestinian Economy in Transition (Washington, DC: World Bank,1998).
  • "Much Ado about Nothing? The Refugee Working Group and the Perils of Multilateral Quasinegotiation," International Negotiations 2, 2 (November 1997).
  • "Imagining a Solution: Final Status Arrangements and Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon," Journal of Palestine Studies 26, 2 (Winter 1997).
  • (with Jill Tansley) "The Refugee Working Group of the Middle East Multilateral Peace Negotiations," Israel-Palestine Journal 2, 4 (Autumn 1995).
  • "The Neopatrimonial Dimensions of Palestinian Politics," Journal of Palestine Studies 25, 1 (1995).
  • "The Palestinians and Confidence-Building Measures in the Arab-Israeli Conflict", in G. Ben-Dor and D. Dewitt, eds, Confidence and Security Building in the Middle East: The Arab-Israeli Nexus (Boulder: Westview Press, 1994).
  • "Economic Crisis and Post-Rentier Democratization in the Arab World: The Case of Jordan", Canadian Journal of Political Science, 35, 1 (1992).
  • (with Paul Noble) "The Gulf Conflict and the Arab State System: A New Regional Order?" Arab Studies Quarterly13, 1-2 (Winter/Spring 1991).
  • "Palestine and the Arab State System: Permeability, State Consolidation, and Responses to the Intifada", Canadian Journal of Political Science, (1991).

Other Reports

Online Materials (selection)


See also:

  • PAXsims—a web resource on the use of simulations for teaching and training with regard to fragile and conflict-affected countries.
  • Brynania—the POLI 450/650 civil war and peacebuilding simulation.

Fall 2020

POLI 340 (Developing Areas: Middle East)
POLI 640 (Seminar in Middle East Politics)

Winter 2021

POLI 452 (Conflict Simulation)

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