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Rebecca Bell-Martin

Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations, el Tecnológico de Monterrey

Residency: September 2022 – May 2023

Research Project: “It could have been me”: Empathy, civic engagement and violence in Mexico

Research Interests: Criminal and political violence, the politics of public security, democratization and political participation in Latin America, emotions and political behavior

Rebecca Bell-Martin is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at El Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, México. Her research interrogates the intersection of criminal violence and democracy in Latin America. Her current book project asks: How do indirect experiences with criminal violence shape civic engagement? Why do some – but not all – acts of criminal violence generate political outcry? And, how do civilian political responses to violence shape justice processes? The book project draws on more than 16 months of ethnographic field research in Mexico, paired with behavioral experiments and large-n survey analysis from Mexico and beyond.

Bell-Martin’s collaborative research includes an original dataset that measures variation in the characteristics of criminal and political violence, qualitative research on the survival strategies citizens living amidst criminal violence adopt and geospatial analysis of crime and urban expansion. She has also published on normative and empirical considerations for carrying out research in violent contexts. Bell-Martin earned her B.A. in political science, comparative cultures and Spanish language from Whittier College, her M.A. in international studies from the Josef Korbel School at the University of Denver, and her Ph.D. in political science from Brown University.