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Erik Nemeth, PhD   Visit the CPCR blog.

"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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As an independent scholar in Santa Monica, California, Erik explores - Cultural Security - the interrelation of culture, identity, and perceptions of security. In publishing on the intersection of cultural property, diplomacy, and regional security, he examines the "alternative power" of artworks, historic structures, and monuments in foreign policy.

Following a decade in the software-development industry in the United States and the former East bloc, Erik pursued graduate studies in neuroscience. Dissertation research in retinal physiology led to studies in neuroaesthetics, which led to research on sharing of scholarship across disciplines. While serving as an analyst in Research Databases at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, California, Erik explored web-based methods for cross-disciplinary discovery of scholarly publications.

Erik has published in journals such as Terrorism and Political Violence, Intelligence and National Security, and Cambridge Review of International Affairs and presents at conferences in art history, archaeology, information science, and criminology. He also teaches on Cultural Security and serves on the editorial board of Journal of Art Crime and as Adjunct Research Staff at RAND Corporation.

Erik holds a B.A. in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Vision Science, both from the University of California at Berkeley.

Erik Nemeth - Presentations and publications by field
(Cultural Security, Information Science, Neuroscience)

Policy Analysis

January 2012 "Threats Without Threateners? Exploring Intersections of Threats to the Global Commons and National Security"
RAND Corporation, OP-360-SGTF

Cultural Security (top)


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
MonTREP (MIIS), Culture in the Crosshairs, Monterey, California

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

June 2014 Art of Foreign Relations: Cultural Property and International Security
LAPD Ahmanson Recruit Training Center, Association of Former Intelligence Officers, Los Angeles, California

June 2013 Commentary in "Bare Walls: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Heist"
History Channel, "America's Book of Secrets: Lost Treasures"

May 2013 "Art 'Appreciation': An emerging political economy of artworks in the 21st century"
Skirball Cultural Center, Docent Scholar Day, Los Angeles, California

June 2012 "Art 'Appreciation': An emerging political economy of artworks in the 21st century"
Harris & Ruble Art, Otium - Negotium Exhibition, Hollywood, California

February 2012 "Cultural Security: Potential Value of Artworks and Monuments to Foreign Policy"
Los Angeles World Affairs Council, Luncheon Talk, Santa Monica, California

November 2010 "Antiquities Trafficking: Complementary Countermeasures" (panel)
American Society of Criminology (ASC), Annual Conference, San Francisco, California

June 2010 "Cultural Intelligence for Asssesing Security Risks"
Cultural Diplomacy and Security Conference, Arlington, Virginia

April 2010 "The Art of Cultural Intelligence"
Archaeology in Conflict, Vienna International Center, UN-City, Vienna, Austria

November 2009 Cultural-Security Briefing
Department of State, Washington DC

November 2009 “The Influence of Scholarship and the Media on Art Crime” (panel)
American Society of Criminology (ASC), Annual Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

February 2008 “Securing Looted Art
College Arts Association (CAA), Annual 96th Annual Conference, Dallas, Texas


January 2016 “Cultural Currency: Security-Intelligence Services Shape the Strategic Value of Art in Foreign Policy
in Art Crime: Terrorists, Tomb Raiders, Forgers and Thieves, edited by Noah Charney, Palgrave Macmillan.

January 2015 Cultural Security: Evaluating the Power of Culture in International Affairs
Imperial College Press, London, 2015.

April 2015 "One perspective on the security threat of antiquities trafficking"
The Hill, Congress Blog, Foreign Policy, 07 April 2015.

March 2015 "The relevance of arts trafficking for international security"
EurActiv, Languages & Culture, Opinions, 04 March 2015.

February 2015 "Art's power in foreign relations and security"
The Hill, Congress Blog, Foreign Policy, 03 February 2015.

February 2013 "A Gap in Cultural Intelligence"
The Providence Journal, This New England Blog, 25 February 2013.

February 2013 "Alternative Power: Political economy of cultural property"
Journal of International Affairs, Op-ed, Columbia University, SIPA, 08 February 2013.

November 2012 "The Diplomatic Case for Repatriating Art and Antiquities"
U.S. News & World Report, Opinion, 15 November 2012.

June 2012 "Repatriating part of Saddam statue could promote democracy"
Chicago Tribune, Opinion, 07 June 2012.

April 2012 "Strategic Value of African Tribal Art: Auction Sales Trends as Cultural Intelligence"
Intelligence and National Security, 27:2, 302316.

March 2012 "Security of Cultural Property: U.S. Engagement and Potential for Improvement"
E-Conservation Magazine, Issue 23, 71-77.

June 2011 "Art Sales as Cultural Intelligence: Analysis of the Auction Market for African Tribal Art"
African Security, 4:2, 127-144.

March 2011 "Collecting Cultural Intelligence: The Tactical Value of Cultural Property"
International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 24:2, 217-238.

September 2010 "Market Value of Culture: Quantifying the Risk of Antiquities Looting"
Blouin Creative Leadership Summit - Latest News (

June 2010 “Conflict Art: Scholars Develop the Tactical Value of Cultural Patrimony
Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 23:2, 299-323.

June 2010 "The Art of Cultural Intelligence: intelligence for countering threats to cultural property in conflict"
Forum Archaeologiae, 55:6 (

June 2009 “The Artifacts of Wartime Art Crime: Evidence for a Model of the Evolving Clout of Cultural Property in Foreign Affairs
in Art and Crime: Exploring the Dark Side of the Art World, edited by Noah Charney, Praeger, pp. 203-224.

June 2009 “Plunderer and Protector of Cultural Property: Security-Intelligence Services Shape the Strategic Value of Art
Journal of Art Crime, 1:1, 25-40.

February 2008 “Art-Intelligence Programs: The Relevance of the Clandestine Art World to Foreign Intelligence
International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 21:2, 355–374.

January 2007 “Cultural Security: The Evolving Role of Art in International Security
Terrorism and Political Violence, 19:1, 19-42.

Information Science (top)


February 2012 “Cultural Learning Collage (CLiC): Image-based Cross-Disciplinary Thesaurus
RAND Corporation, Idea Showcase, Santa Monica, California

June 2009 “The Future of Searching for Scholarly Literature
Semantic Technology Conference, San Jose, California

May 2009 “Discipline-specific Research Databases in Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web
Art History Libraries Meeting, Berlin, Germany

October 2008 “Leveraging the Prescience of Artists and the Art of Science
ICIC, Annual Meeting, Nice, France

October 2007 “Scholarly Research in Web 2.0”
NFAIS, Humanities Round Table, New York

October 2006 “User Survey on the Value of Abstracting and Indexing”
NFAIS, Humanities Round Table, New York


May 2010 “Complementary Value of Databases for Discovery of Scholarly Literature
College and Research Libraries, 71:3, 223-235.

January 2009 “Metadata of Art and Architecture Research Databases
Journal of Library Metadata, 8:4, 293-313.

January 2004 "Who's Pulling the Data Strings?"
SecurityManagement, January 2004.

Neuroscience (top)


May 1998 “Retinal Ganglion Cell Presynaptic Excitatory and Inhibitory Space-Time Patters”
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Annual Meeting, Fort Lauderdale, Florida


March/April 2001 “The network behind spatio-temporal patterns: building low-complexity retinal models in CNN based on morphology, pharmacology and physiology”
C Rekeczky, B Roska, E Nemeth, FS Werblin, International Journal of Circuit Theory and Applications 29:2, 197-239.

December 2000 Formation of space-time patterns at ganglion cell layers in the tiger salamander retina
Thesis (Ph.D. in Vision Science) - University of California, Berkeley

March 2000 “Three Levels of Lateral Inhibition: A Space-Time Study of the Retina of the Tiger Salamander”
B Roska, E Nemeth, L Orzo, FS Werblin, Journal of Neuroscience, 20:5, 1941-1951.

2000 “Neuromorphic CNN models for spatio-temporal effects measured in the inner and outer retina of tiger salamander”
C. Rekeczky, B Roska, E Nemeth, F Werblin, Proceedings of the IEEE International Workshop on Cellular Neural Networks and their Applications.

2000 “A qualitative model-framework for spatio-temporal effects invertebrate retinas”
D. Balya, B. Roska, E. Nemeth, T. Roska, F. Werblin, Proceedings of the IEEE International Workshop on Cellular Neural Networks and their Applications.

May 1998 “Response to change is facilitated by a three-neuron disinhibitory pathway in the tiger salamander retina”
Roska B, Nemeth E, Werblin FS, Journal of Neuroscience, 1998;18:3451–3459.

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