Ambassador Blackwell Outlines New Multidimensional Approach to Systemic Change

February 29, 2016

Ambassador Adam Blackwell, the Perry Center Diplomat-in-Residence, examines security conditions in the hemisphere in his new book, If the War on Drugs is Over – Now What? Based on his experience as the Secretary for Multidimensional Security at the Organization of American States and from years of observing security problems in many locations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, Ambassador Blackwell assesses the systemic inequalities, flawed criminal justice systems, and strong-arm police tactics in the region.

He argues that more security, more police, and harsher sentences do not solve social insecurity and crime. Instead, he proposes a multi-dimensional, data-driven, multi-stakeholder approach focused on solving systemic societal problems rather than punishing individual crimes. Using his vast experience working in some of the most violent countries in the world, Ambassador Blackwell outlines a more proactive and solution-based theory that fosters new ideas and methods for tackling this extensive problem.

One reviewer summarized the book as follows: “…how should we approach security today, when problems are horizontal and solutions vertical? The simple answers to complex problems are all through the book…Combining an easy language that captures the attention of the reader with the experience that comes from the author’s position at OAS, this book opens many issues related to a new way of thinking security.” Ernesto U. Savona , Director of Transcrime and Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research.