Alexandra Abello Colak

PhD Candidate, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford and Marie Curie Fellow, Centre for Conflict Studies, University of Utrecht



Research Project

My doctoral research explores the impact that the combination of national and local security policies implemented in Medellin, Colombia since 2002 have had on poor urban communities. These communities have found it difficult to successfully integrate to the economic development of the city, have strong presence of violent armed actors linked to the illegal narcotraffic industry and have had consistently high levels of violence during the last 20 years. These communities became receptors for the first time of a combination of increased police-military presence, urban regeneration projects and preventive programs focusing on high-risk population groups. My main interest is to understand:
1. How public interventions aimed at improving security affect state-society relations in those poor urban communities?
2. How have security policies affected the state’s legitimacy as provider of public goods, regulator of social violence and guarantor of democratic values?
3. To what extent are current forms of security governance increasing citizens and communities’ capacity to resist and delegitimize informal violent armed actors?


Alexandra is PhD candidate at the Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford (UK) and Marie Curie Fellow based at Centre for Conflict Studies, Utrecht University (The Netherlands). Her academic work focuses on the transformation of global and local security paradigms and the provision of security in urban communities affected by high levels of violence and inequality. She is interested in the links between security, social change and participation, especially in Latin America, as well as on methodological innovations for the study of security.

Before embarking on her doctoral research she completed a BA in International Relations at the Universidad del Rosario in Colombia and a MA in Conflict Resolution at the University of Bradford. Alexandra has conducted fieldwork in Medellin, Colombia and works closely with civil and community based organizations in this city on action orientated research to improve security provision in contexts of complex violence.


1 thought on “Alexandra Abello Colak

  1. doctora soy colombiano estudió doctorado en méxico con tema la seguridad ciudadana quiero platicar con usted para una asesoría, la felicito por sus artículos.


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