Brian McQuinn

Associate Professor; Co-Director, Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Data, and Conflict
PhD (University of Oxford)

Office: CL 208
Phone: (306) 585-4060
Pronoun(s): he/il

Current classes
Winter 2024 - IS 240 (Contemporary Issues in International Affairs)

Research interests

  • Civil war
  • Right-wing extremism
  • Social media
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Human-wildlife conflict

Dr. Brian McQuinn is a humanitarian and academic. Over two decades, his work in conflict affected-countries has ranged from supporting peace talks in Nepal and Timore Leste to engaging with armed groups in South Sudan and Nigeria. In 2015, he received his doctorate from the University of Oxford. His fieldwork included nine months of ethnographic study with the armed groups fighting the 2011 uprising in Libya.

Before joining the University of Regina, McQuinn served as a Global Advisor to the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland. He co-founded the Online Traces of Conflict project, which is a collaboration with the Center for Human Rights Science at Carnegie Mellon University. The initiative examines civil war inception, social media in conflict, and the application of machine learning tools to the study of violence and health in conflict settings. His research has appeared in publications by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and in various peer-reviewed journals. These studies' results have also appeared in mainstream media like The Guardian, Financial Times, and Nature. Prof McQuinn co-leads the United Nations' course on the analysis and engagement of armed groups.


Cole, Peter and McQuinn, Brian (eds.). 2015. The Libyan Revolution and its Aftermath. Oxford University Press.

Book Chapters:

McQuinn, Brian and Laura Courchesne. 2020. “Armed-Group Proliferation: Origins and Consequences.” Strategic Survey 2020: The Annual Assessment of Geopolitics. Washington D.C.: International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Madden, Francine and McQuinn, Brian. 2017. “Addressing the Missing Link in Wildlife Conservation,” in Catherine M. Hill, Amanda D. Webber, Nancy E.C. Priston (eds.). Understanding Conflicts about Wildlife: A Biosocial Approach. New York: Berghahn Books.

Cole, Peter and McQuinn, Brian. 2015. “Introduction: the politics of revolution and uprising,” in Cole, Peter and McQuinn, Brian (Eds.). 2015. The Libyan Revolution and its Aftermath. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McQuinn, Brian. 2015. “History’s Warriors: The emergence of revolutionary brigades in Misrata,” in Cole, Peter and McQuinn, Brian (eds.). 2015. The Libyan Revolution and its Aftermath. Oxford University Press.

Madden, Francine and McQuinn, Brian. 2015. “Understanding social conflict and complexity in marine conservation,” in Draheim, Megan, Madden, Francine, McCarthy, Julie-Beth, and Parsons, Chris (eds.). 2015. Human-Wildlife Conflict: Complexity in the Marine Environment. New York: Oxford University Press.

Madden, Francine and McQuinn, Brian. 2015. “Conservation conflict transformation: the missing link in conservation,” Redpath, Stephen M., Gutiérrez, R. J., Wood, Kevin A., and Young, Juliette C. (eds.). Conflicts in Conservation: Navigating Towards Solutions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Whitehouse, Harvey and McQuinn, Brian. 2012. “Ritual and Violence: Divergent modes of religiosity and armed struggle,” in Mark Juergensmeyer, Margo Kitts, and Michael Jerryson (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ellis, Christina, Koziell, Izabella, McQuinn, Brian, and Julie Stein. 2004. “Approaching the Table: Transforming Conservation-Community Conflict into Opportunity.” Alice Wondrak Biel (ed.). Beyond the Arch: Community and Conservation in Greater Yellowstone and East Africa. Yellowstone Center for Resources.

Peer-reviewed articles and special symposium:

McQuinn, Brian, Terry, Fiona, Francisco Gutiérrez-Sanín, and Oliver Kaplan. 2021. “Introduction: Promoting Restraint in War.” International Interactions Journal.

Razek, Noha and McQuinn, Brian. 2021. “Saudi Arabia’s International Competitiveness, Accounting for Geopolitical Risks and the Super-Contango Oil” Market. Resources Policy. 72 (102057).

Zimmermann, Alexandra, McQuinn, Brian and Macdonald, David. 2020. “Levels of conflict over wildlife: Understanding and addressing the right problem.” Conservation Science and Practice, 2 (10), p.259.

McQuinn, Brian. 2016. “DDR and the Internal Organization of Non-State Armed Groups.” Stability: International Journal of Security & Development. 5(1): 2–25.

Whitehouse, Harvey, McQuinn, Brian, Buhrmester, Michael, and Swann, William Jr. 2014. “Brothers in arms: Libyan revolutionaries bond like family.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111.50: 17783-17785.

Madden, Francine and McQuinn, Brian. 2014. “Conservation conflict transformation: Addressing the missing link in wildlife conservation.” Biological Conservation, 178 (September), 55-67.

McQuinn, Brian. 2013. “Assessing (In)security after the Arab Spring: The Case of Libya.” Political Science & Politics, 46 (4), 716-720.

Sullivan, Richard, McQuinn, Brian, and Purushotham, Arnie. 2011. “How are we going to rebuild public health in Libya?” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 104 (12), 490-492.

McQuinn, Brian. 2010. “Modes of coalition formation: CPN-Maoists doctrinal cohesion regimes,” in New Researchers’ Perspectives on the Nepalese People’s War. Paris: Centre for Himalayan Studies.

Beardsley, Kyle and McQuinn, Brian. 2009. “Rebel Groups as Predatory Organizations: The Political Effects of the 2004 Tsunami in Indonesia and Sri Lanka,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, 53 (4), 624-645.

Policy Publications:

IUCN. 2020. IUCN SSC Position Statement on the Management of Human-Wildlife Conflict. IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Human-Wildlife Conflict Task Force. Published in four languages.

McQuinn, Brian. 2020. International Committee of the Red Cross: Security & Safety Annual Report 2019. Geneva: ICRC. (Confidential).

Terry, Fiona and McQuinn, Brian. 2018. Roots of Restraint in War. Geneva: International Committee of the Red Cross.

McQuinn, Brian and Oliva, Fabio. 2014. Engaging Non-state Armed Groups in the Field: Scoping Report. Turin: United Nations System Staff College.

McQuinn, Brian and Swartz, Fatima. 2013. Supporting Insider Mediation: Strengthening resilience to conflict and turbulence: Preliminary Research. New York: United Nations Development Programme.

King, Benjamin, McQuinn, Brian, Navas Caputo, Claudia, and Tobon, Alonso. 2013. Ad Hoc Arsenals: PSSM Practices of Selected Non-state Actors Geneva: Small Arms Survey.

Ernstorfer, Anita, White, Jonathan, Smith, Deirdre, McQuinn, Brian, and Dedic, Jessica. 2013. “Literature Review: The Relationships between Violent Extremism/Terrorism and Development,” Confidential policy report developed for UK Department for International Development (DFID).

McQuinn, Brian. 2012. After the Fall: Libya’s Evolving Armed Groups Geneva: Small Arms Survey.

McQuinn, Brian. 2012. Armed Groups in Libya: Typology and Roles Geneva: Small Arms Survey.

McQuinn, Brian. 2012. Impact Assessment: Youth employment programmes in Sierra Leone (2007–2009). Freetown: United Nations Development Programme.