Angélica Durán-Martínez

I’m an Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. I obtained a Ph.D. in Political Science at Brown University, a B.A. in Political Science from Universidad Nacional de Colombia and completed an M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship.

My research interests include the relations between organized crime, violence, and the state in Latin America, as well as the interconnections between democracy, rule of law, and citizen security. My research has received funding from the United States Institute of Peace, the Social Science Research Council, the Drugs, Security and Democracy Fellowship (Open Society, SSRC, and Universidad de los Andes), and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.



My book “The Politics of Drug Violence: Criminals, Cops, and Politicians in Colombia and Mexico” published in 2018 by Oxford University Press, and published in Spanish in 2022 by Ediciones Uniandes, presents a novel theory to explain variation in forms and levels of drug related violence, and has received two book awards. My current book project explores the causes, consequences and implications of negotiating with criminal, non-rebel actors, exploring cases of truces and negotiations in Central America and Colombia.

I have published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, the Journal of Peace Research, Comparative Political Studies, Crime, Law and Social Change, Latin American Politics and Society. I have participated in edited volumes and handbooks with pieces such as “The International Politics of Drugs and Illicit trade in the Americas” (with Peter Andreas),  in the Handbook of Latin American in the World, Routledge (2014), and  “Cocaine Smuggling: Between Geopolitics and Domestic Power Struggles” in the Routledge Handbook of Smuggling (2021).

My research has been featured in opinion pieces and academic blogs such as Political Violence @glance, The Conversation, and I regularly contribute to Razón Pública in Colombia. I have provided media commentary to major media outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post, and major media outlets in Latin America.

Prior to my academic career, I was a Fulbright Fellow at the United Nations Secretariat and a consultant for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the UN Development Program, and Global Integrity. In Colombia I worked for the Foundation Ideas for Peace (FIP) and for several research projects about the Colombian armed conflict at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia.


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Department of Political Science

Dugan Hall, Suite 203A

883 Broadway Street, Lowell, MA 01854