Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

About PAXsims

The PaxSims blog is devoted to the development and effective use of games and simulation-based learning concerning issues of conflict, peacebuilding, and development in fragile and conflict-affected states, as well as to the policy application of gaming and simulation techniques. We welcome comments.


Rex Brynen is Professor of Political Science at McGill University, where he specializes in Middle East politics, development, and security issues. He is author or editor of eleven books on the politics of the region. He has also served as a member of the Political and Security Policy Staff of the (Canadian) Department of Foreign Affairs, as an intelligence analyst for the Privy Council Office, and as a consultant to the International Development Research Centre, the World Bank, United Nations agencies, and others. In 2011 received the International Studies Association’s Deborah Gerner Innovative Teaching Award for his work with classroom simulations. He can be reached at rex.brynen (@), or on Twitter as @rexbrynen.

Gary Milante is an economist with an interest in game theory. He currently directs the Macroeconomics of Security project for the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), splitting his time between Washington DC and Stockholm. Before SIPRI, Gary worked for the World Bank on development in challenging environments of conflict and fragility, and was the team economist for the World Development Report 2011 on  conflict, security, and development. For the Bank he designed and delivered the Carana simulation more than a dozen times in the Bank’s fragile states strategy course. Additionally, he enjoys game play and design, time permitting. Occasionally Gary tweets from @gmilante and he can be reached at milante (@)

 Associate Editors


Elizabeth “Ellie” Bartels is a PhD candidate and assistant Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation. Prior to joining RAND, Ellie served as a Senior Associate at Caerus Associates working on developing and testing tools to better understand the urban operational environment. Ellie also led teams to design educational and analytical strategic wargames at the National Defense University. She has designed games for various parts of DoD, including military schoolhouses, OSD, force providers and operational commands, the Office of Personnel Management, Congressional Staff, and international military delegations. She focuses on how methods for national security game design for analysis and education can be improved She can be found on Twitter at @elliebartels.

image001Devin Ellis is a faculty research associate in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, and the Policy & Research Program Director for the ICONS Project – a simulation research and training program in the University’s Center for International Development and Conflict Management. He is an Affiliate Researcher at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), and a member of the CSIS Pacific Forum Young Leaders program. Ellis is a policy analyst by training, specializing in East Asian security issues and crisis management. He has designed or consulted on simulation and gaming projects for USAID, the World Bank, DHS, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Brookings Institution, CSIS, the Office of Personnel Management, NDU, START, the Kennedy School of Government, the Fletcher School of Diplomacy, several Fortune 100 corporations, and various parts of DOD including the Joint Staff, OSD, and PACOM. He can be found on Twitter at @DevinHayesEllis.

Research Associates (2016)

Corinne Goldberger (Canada) graduated from McGill University with a BA in political science and Middle East studies. She is a veteran of the civil war in Brynania, and previously contributed a series PAXsims blog posts on gaming the “Arab Spring.”

Ryan Kuhns (US) is an MA student at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International CommerceUniversity of Kentucky. He is interested in peace and conflict simulation.

Nick LaLone (US) is a PhD student in information science and technology at Pennsylvania State University, and Director of the Game Studies Program at Bellevue University. You’ll find more on his work here.

Christian Palmer (US) is a civil affairs officer in the United States Marine Corps. He also holds an M.S. in education and social policy from Northwestern University.

Former research associates: Nikola Adamus (2015).


PAXsims also welcomes guest contributions. Among those who have contributed in the past are:

PAXsims has been cited by:

  • CNN
  • Foreign Policy
  • France Info
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Washington Post
  • VICE News

Have a piece on conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and serious games that you would like considered for inclusion on the website? Email us!

3 responses to “About PAXsims

  1. Chris Jagger 29/04/2014 at 6:16 am

    This looks like a wonderful blog and one that I will promote to my students. I’ll be sure to write something for you soon (if you’ll have me!), Chris Jagger

  2. Rex Brynen 21/09/2014 at 6:29 pm

    We welcome contributions!

  3. Alejandra Torres 26/11/2014 at 2:52 pm

    This is a very cool website Professor Brynen…. just like your lectures at McGill. I still remember your great sense of humor!

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