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Cultural Security (contact: erik.nemeth@culturalsecurity.org)  Visit the CPCR blog for commentary.

Cultural Security develops the role of cultural property in diplomacy and international security. By examining the significance of antiquities, artworks, religious monuments, and historic structures to hard and soft power, Cultural Security provides intelligence that informs foreign policy. ("The Art of Cultural Intelligence" Archaeology in Conflict, April 2010)

Recent destruction of cultural heritage, including looting and trafficking in antiquities, across nations of Arab spring, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan emphasizes the need for research. What strategic and tactial value do terrorist groups and militants derive from targeting libraries, museums, mosques, shrines, and archaeological sites? Calls to classify targeting of cultural property as a war crime, and the suggestion by UNESCO to qualify the terrorism and political violence as "cultural cleansing" and "cultural genocide", compel analysis of the significance of cultural heritage in internatational affairs and the relevance of Cultural Security to foreign policy and global security.

Cultural Diplomacy - "alternative power" of artworks

Over the past ten years, Erik Nemeth has researched the progressive interrelation of the art market, foreign relations, and national security. The research defines a framework to assess the "alternative power" of antiquities, works of fine art, and cultural heritage sites in political and armed conflict and economic development.

Analyses of trends--in the value of artworks and countermeasures to exploitation of cultural patrimony--have led to a cross-disciplinary framework for collection of intelligence. Cultural Security develops methods for "cultural intelligence" to assess the political economy of art and to inform: 1) the strategic role of restitution of artworks and repatriation of antiquities in foreign policy and 2) the tactical value of illicit transactions in the art market and smuggling of antiquities to international security.

Cultural Intelligence - political economy of art and culture

Research on Cultural Security:
- tracks the interrelation of cultural property and global security in political and armed conflict
- explores the art market and laws on cultural property as indicators for the political economy of art and culture
- assesses the influence of scholarship on the hard, soft, and alternative power of antiquities, artworks, and historic structures
- develops the strategic value of the antiquities market to cultural diplomacy.

Models suggest the increasing importance of cultural security in foreign policy and motivate the development of cultural intelligence as a means to mitigate risk, and potentially forestall threats, to cultural property in regional conflict. In the evolving spectrum of cultural power, Cultural Security leverages the historical significance of artworks in cultural diplomacy.

erik.nemeth@culturalsecurity.org Santa Monica, California, USA

Recent Publications: (see also research)

"This is the first book in the literature that touches on the interrelation of the financial value, politics, and security of cultural property and suggests the implications for the power of culture in global affairs. The intersection of these issues forms the basis for a new field which this book examines--cultural security. As part of the changing significance of cultural property in foreign relations, Cultural Security assesses corresponding security threats and opportunities for diplomacy."

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Recent Talks: (see also talks and conference papers)

April 2016, Understanding Cultural Security: Different perspectives on the role of culture in international affairs
The Gray Area Festival
Gray Area Foundation for the Arts
San Francisco, California

March 2016, Calculating the Value of Culture: Quantifying the value of cultural property to foreign policy
Culture in the Crosshairs
MonTREP, MIIS
Monterey, California

March 2016, Mapping the Value of Culture: Quantifying the role of cultural property in international security
Data and Mapping of Cultural Heritage Sites
WWHGD Working Group
Webinar

Talks and Conference Papers (top)

April 2016 Understanding Cultural Security: Different perspectives on the role of culture in international affairs [PDF] The Gray Area Festival
Gray Area Foundation for the Arts
San Francisco, California
March 2016 Calculating the Value of Culture: Quantifying the value of cultural property to foreign policy [PDF] Culture in the Crosshairs
MonTREP, MIIS
Monterey, California
March 2016 Mapping the Value of Culture: Quantifying the role of cultural property in international security [PDF] Data and Mapping of Cultural Heritage
WWHGD Working Group
Webinar
June 2014 Art of Foreign Relations: Cultural Property and International Security [PDF] LAPD Ahmanson Recruit Training Center
Association of Former Intelligence Officers
Los Angeles, California
May 2013 Art "Appreciation": An emerging political economy of artworks in the 21st century [YouTube] (32 minute video) Skirball Cultural Center
Skirball Docent Scholar Day
Los Angeles, California
June 2012 Art "Appreciation": An emerging political economy of artworks in the 21st century [PDF] Harris & Ruble Art
Otium - Negotium Exhibition
Hollywood, California
February 2012 Cultural Learning Collage (CLiC): Image-based Cross-Disciplinary Thesaurus [Collage] RAND Corporation
Idea Showcase
Santa Monica, California
February 2012 Cultural Security: Potential Value of Artworks and Monuments to Foreign Policy [PDF] Los Angeles World Affairs Council
Luncheon Talk
Santa Monica, California
November 2010 Antiquities Trafficking: Complementary Countermeasures (panel) [PDF] American Society of Criminology (ASC)
Annual Conference
San Francisco, California
June 2010 Cultural Intelligence for Assessing Security Risks [PDF] Cultural Diplomacy and Security Conference
Arlington, Virginia
April 2010 The Art of Cultural Intelligence: Intelligence for Countering Threats to Cultural Property in Conflict [YouTube] (18 minute video) Archaeology in Conflict
(www.archaeologyinconflict.org)
UN-City, Vienna, Austria

November 2009

Briefing on Cultural Security [PDF]

Department of State
Washington, DC

November 2009 The Influence of Scholarship and the Media on Art Crime (panel) [PDF] American Society of Criminology (ASC)
Annual Conference
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
June 2009 The Future of Searching for Scholarly Literature [LINK] (32 minute podcast) Semantic Technology Conference
SEMTECH 2009
San Jose, California
May 2009 Discipline-Specific Research Databases in Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web [SMIL] (22 minute video) Working Committee of German Art Libraries (AKB)
Expertengespraech zur Zukunft der Kunstbiblioteken
Berlin, Germany
October 2008 Leveraging the Prescience of Artists and the Art of Science [PDF] ICIC (science-technology information practices)
Annual Meeting
Nice, France
February 2008 Securing Looted Art: How the Evolving Interrelation of the Art Market and International Security Shapes the Restitution Process [PDF] College Arts Association (CAA)
96th Annual Conference
Dallas, Texas
Santa Monica, California, USA erik.nemeth@culturalsecurity.org ©2001-2016 Cultural Security