Rex J. Brynen

Academic title(s): 


Rex J. Brynen
Contact Information

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

514 399-9646
Email address: 
rex.brynen [at]
Leacock 510

PhD, University of Calgary

Research areas: 
Comparative Government and Politics
Areas of interest: 
  • Conflict simulation and serious game design.
  • 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.
  • Intelligence analysis and strategic forecasting.


Professional activities: 
  • READY Initiative (2020-23)
  • CNN Academy (2022-23)
  • Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council (2016-18)
  • Interdepartmental Experts Group on Middle East Intelligence, Intelligence Assessment Staff, Privy Council Office (1995-2018)
  • Special Advisor, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (1995-96)
  • Political and Security Policy Staff, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (1994-95)
  • 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, Slitherine Software, US Department of State, World Bank, various United Nations agencies, and others.
Selected publications: 


Serious Games (selected)

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 AmericaMiddle 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.
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