Insider and Outsider Fieldwork Challenges in Medellín, Colombia


High levels of violence and conflict in Latin America have attracted the interests of local and international researchers to further understand how to reduce this violence and prevent current and future outbreaks. Conducting research in any environment is challenging. However, the obstacles facing not only researcher safety but also data collection methods are particularly complex in settings with high levels of violence and conflict. This article contributes to the methodological literature, as it provides reflections from two researchers, an insider from the Global South and an outsider from the Global North, each collecting data in Medellín, Colombia. It also argues the importance of collaboration between Global North and Global South researchers investigating violence and insecurity.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2020-08-05
Pages:87 to 99
Fetching Scopus statistics
Fetching Web of Science statistics
How to Cite
Dávila, L. F. and Doyle, C. (2020) “Insider and Outsider Fieldwork Challenges in Medellín, Colombia”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 9(3), pp. 87-99. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v9i3.1207.

Author Biographies

Universidad Católica de Colombia

Dr Luis Felipe Dávila is a lecturer at the Universidad Católica de Colombia, Bogotá. His research focuses on the complex relationship between the law and local customs/rules, such as the role of the police and criminal gangs, in regulating social behaviour in Medellín, Colombia.

UNSW, Canberra

Caroline is a lecturer in the School of Business at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Canberra. Caroline has extensive fieldwork experience in Latin America. Her current research draws from her legal and policy experience by analysing how policymakers develop and implement policies to respond to social problems, such as organised crime and violence.