Alexandra’s research focuses on dynamics of urban violence and insecurity in the Urban South. She is particularly interested in the challenges of security provision in cities affected by chronic levels of violence in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a related focus on the reconfigurations of state-society relations occurring in response to such violence.
She has undertaken ethnographic work in urban communities affected by historically high levels of violence and co-developed action-oriented research methodologies to work with particularly vulnerable groups. In collaboration with academics and civil-society organisations from Latin America, these methodological innovations have been used to co-produce security knowledge with people living in in Colombian, Mexican, Honduran, Salvadoran, Jamaican, and Guatemalan communities severely affected by violence and criminality. Groups involved have included women, young people, children, the LGBT community, and people suffering forced displacement.
Examples of this kind of collaborative initiative to improve security governance in Latin American cities include a Newton Fund project (ESRC & CONACYT) involving the co-construction of human security agendas in four Mexican cities and an IDRC- and CRS-funded project on "Community Voices and Initiatives for Building Safer Spaces in Latin America and the Caribbean".
Alexandra is currently working on a research project that uses a systemic approach to explore dynamics of violence in Medellín, Tijuana, and Kingston. This research, supported by the Leverhulme Trust, aims to develop new theoretical and conceptual tools to better understand and address the challenges of violence and security in these cities.
Alexandra’s work has been published in Spanish and English.