PS: Political Science & Politics

The Teacher

(Ending) Civil War in the Classroom: A Peacebuilding Simulation

Rex Brynena1

a1 McGill University


There often exists a problematic gap between more theoretical works on war-to-peace transitions, and the practical challenges that peacebuilding operations face in the field. This article describes the use of classroom simulation to highlight the complexity of contemporary multilateral peace operations. It describes the content and mechanics of the simulation, the issues that can arise in its operation, and strategies for most effectively integrating such a simulation into overall course objectives.

Rex Brynen is professor of political science at McGill University. His research interests include Middle East politics, international development, international security, and peacebuilding. He can be reached at


I would like to thank the anonymous reviewers of PS: Political Science and Politics for their very useful comments on an earlier draft of this article. Further information on peacebuilding simulations can be found at the PaxSims blog at