NEWS: Conference papers now online

We would like to draw your attention to our PhD researchers’  conference papers  that are now online and offer valuable insight into researching security and violence, principally in Latin America.


From physical to symbolic urban periphery: the heterogeneity of the inner-slum, Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS) Annual Conference, University of Manchester, UK, by Juan Carlos Ruiz (April 2013)


A Salvadoran Turnaround? The FMLN’s Response to Citizen Security Needs. 54 International Congress of Americanists, Vienna, by Susan Hoppert-Flämig (July 2012)

What can anthropologists offer to Security Studies? A report from the RAI Anthropology in the World Conference June 2012, London / UK, by Jenna Murray de López (June 2012)

Rural-Urban Migration in Chiapas, Mexico: Antenatal Violence and the Disappearing of the Midwife, Congreso Internacional Feminismo y Migración: Intervención Social y Acción Política, by Jenna Murray de López (February 2012)


Inecesárea: The Violence of Childbirth in Mexico, International Conference on Gendered Violence, University of Bristol, UK, by Jenna Murray de López (November 2011)


The Crisis of Forced Internal Displacement and the Struggle over the Right to Citizenship in Medellin, Workshop Panel: The Challenges of Access to Citizenship Rights, Latin American Studies Association Conference (LASA), by Elizabeth Kerr (2010)

NEWS: Thinking about Peace Research in 21st Century Latin America

Congratulations to Susan Hoppert-Flaemig, Egoitz Gago Anton and everyone else at the Peace, Conflict and Development Journal (University of Bradford) who has been involved in the release of the latest special issue.

Please find all articles here.

  • EDITORIAL: Thinking about Peace Research in 21st Century Latin America
  • Friction in a Warming World: The Challenges of Green Energy in Rural Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Andean Ethno-cultural Politics and their Effects on Social Violence: Evidence and Hypothesis from the Bolivian Case
  • Challenging the Weak States Hypothesis: Vigilantism in South Africa and Brazil
  • Argentinian Transitional Justice Process: Women Behind
  • Peace Processes in Colombia: International Third-Party Interventions
  • Uncovering the Role of Education in Citizen Security: a Peace Education Research Agenda for Latin America
  • Prone to Conflict, but Resilient to Violence. Why Civil Wars Sometimes Do Not Happen: Insights from Peru and Bolivia
  • “Peace of Little Nothings”: a View within the Peace Laboratories in Colombia
  • BOOK REVIEW: Mexico’s Security Failure: Collapse into Criminal Violence

“We dedicate this Special Issue to our dear PhD colleague Elizabeth Kerr who died of cancer on 4 January 2013. Elizabeth contributed to this collection of articles by helping us to articulate our ideas of strengthening peace research on Latin America. We are very grateful for her valuable support; we miss her brilliant ability of constructive criticism in our academic work, and we miss her as a great friend.”

PUBLICATION: One Year Gang Truce in El Salvador

Congratulations to our blog member Kari Mariska Pries who has published her first article for our partner organisation, the Latin American Bureau.



Published on: Thu Mar 21, 2013

Incarcerated 18th Street gang members

Incarcerated 18th Street gang members

Violence dominated conversation in El Salvador during the decade leading up to 2012. Daily, newspaper front pages carried photos of the most gruesome murders of the last 24 hours. Elections were won and lost on a government’s response to the country’s “security situation”. In 2011 El Salvador’s homicide rate of 72 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants was the second highest in the world, only behind that of neighbouring Honduras. Extortions, kidnappings and armed robberies were common and travelling on public buses meant taking your life into your own hands. The country was one of the most violent places on the planet.

Salvadoran citizens demanded forceful repression to combat crime and increase security. Their top worry was the visible threat posed by El Salvador’s violent and notorious street gangs, MS-13 and M-18. The government under President Mauricio Funes responded by placing military patrols on the streets and running large anti-gang operations (read more).

Obituary Elizabeth Kerr

It is with great sadness that we share with our readers the death of our dear friend and PhD colleague Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Kerr who died of cancer at the age of 38 on 4 January 2013.

Libby dedicated a great part of her life to peace research and to activism in conflict-prone areas, with a particular passion for the people of Colombia.  Not only did she seek to understand the displaced and most vulnerable people with a lot of compassion, but she also knew about the power of sharing knowledge, not least as a contributor to our blog. We are struggling with having lost such a great young scholar and friend, and we miss her wisdom and warmth.

Researchingsecurity is going to Budapest

We are happy to announce that Researchingsecurity was invited to talk at the PSS-ISA Joint Conference about ‘Security Challenges in an Evolving World’, from 27-29 June, 2013, at Corvinus University in Budapest, Hungary.

Our panel ‘TD11: Researching (In)Security and Violence: Diffusion in Methodology’ will be held on 27th of June, from 3.30pm – 5pm.

Researching (in)security in violence context is fraught with methodological and ethical concerns and present common barriers across disciplinary fields. These issues become particularly pressing for early career researchers with little experience, few connections, and scarce resources. As such, a blog entitled Researching Security was established in 2011 by PhD and early career researchers as a means through which to diffuse experiences in relation to criminal, (in)security and violence research as a means to overcome obstacles and to spread first hand outcomes. Not only is the space provided to discuss common problems, competing methodologies, share concerns over ethics, the forum has proved to be popular around the world – reaching a concentrated range of readers and commentators in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, the UK and the US – but also as far as Indonesia and Syria. Through presentations by blog participants, new field research will be discussed in the context of methodological issues presented and discussed through the blog and examine the nature and importance of its diffusion in the wider academic and policy community. Three main fields are proposed; ethics, methodology and networking in the field of security and violence studies.


Edmund Pries, Wilfried Laurier University


  • Juan Carlos Ruiz: Methodological challenges to study violence in Latin American excluded communities
  • Verena Brähler: Gaining and Maintaining Access when Researching Security, Organised Crime and Violence
  • Kari Mariska Pries: Learning Lessons in Conflict Analysis: Strategy-sharing in the study of violence
  • Susan Hoppert-Flämig: The Cultural Limits of Ethical Standards
  • Maria Alejandra Otamendi: Use of Secondary Quantitative Data to Study Crime and Crime Perceptions: The case of public punitiveness in Buenos Aires

We are looking forward to meeting our friends and colleagues in Budapest for an exciting conference!

New blog author: Alexandra Abello Colak, University of Bradford

Please join me in welcoming our new author, Alexandra Abello Colak, to our researchingsecurity blog.

Alexandra is a PhD Student at the Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, as well as a Marie Curie Fellow at the Centre for Conflict Studies, University of Utrecht.

Her research is about Security Provision in Impoverished Urban Communities and the Construction of Social Orders: The case of Medellin (2002-2012) in Colombia.