Bolstering citizen participation in security matters

Impact: Societal

Description of impact

Research led by Dr Trevor Stack has shaped the agendas of local and international actors, helping to empower citizens to respond to the violence associated with organised crime in Mexico. Stack’s research has long considered how political concepts such as ‘citizenship’ are understood in different global contexts. Drawing on comparative ethnographic research in a Mexican State, Stack critiqued government understandings of citizen participation in security matters. This led to local organizations conceiving and enacting more effective forms of participation. Internationally, Stack’s research now underpins three briefing papers published by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), an independent, global think tank.

Outcomes to Date / Future Developments

Local impact was complicated by the presence of criminal armed groups, which had infiltrated state institutions. Nevertheless, Stack drew on the research since 2007 to guide and strengthen local organizations looking to respond to crime and violence, within and beyond Michoacán state. He achieved this by communicating his findings to local security stakeholders, including officials and associations, especially via public forums and local citizen security councils. The UK Co-Investigators ensured the research impacted on international practitioners in development and security, primarily through an ODI roundtable and briefs.
Impact statusImpact Completed (Open)
Impact date20072020
Category of impactSocietal


  • Societal