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Hearts and Minds

US Cultural Management in 21st Century Foreign Relations


Matthew Chambers

This volume looks at a key component of recent US foreign relations, namely, its emphasis on «hearts and minds» as part of its cultural management of the global Other. The authors collected here analyze to what extent we can frame the intent and consequences of this term as a coherent policy, discussing how to think about foreign policy strategies that involve the management of cultural relations.

«Including fascinating first-hand and deeply-researched accounts of the workings of various US institutions (many of them ‘cultural’), this volume is a must for an understanding of the power the US projects worldwide.» Professor Laleh Khalili, SOAS University of London

«This fascinating collection reveals the nuance and complexity behind a seemingly banal phrase.» Professor David Schmid, State University of New York at Buffalo

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About the Authors


Mehmed Ali served as a Cultural Affairs Specialist at the US Embassy Baghdad from 2008 to 2012 where he oversaw numerous cultural heritage and development projects. Mehmed has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from the University of Hawai’i and his doctorate in history from the University of Connecticut. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and formerly assigned as a diplomat to the US Embassy in Afghanistan, he currently serves as the City Historian of Lowell, Massachusetts.

Matthew Chambers is an assistant professor at the Department of American Studies and Media at the University of Lodz, Poland, where he also serves on the editorial board of the International Studies: Interdisciplinary Political and Cultural Journal (University of Lodz). He has published a monograph on modernism and cultural poetics. His current research investigates the interrelationship between the humanities, NGOs, and governmental institutions, specifically organizations such as PEN International, UNESCO, and Amnesty International.

Michael C. Davies is currently a freelance researcher and editor. Most recently, he was a Research Analyst with the Center for Complex Operations at the U.S. National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, DC, independently contracted through Old Dominion University to study the U.S. Department of Defense’s Civilian Expeditionary Workforce. He has previously been an Adjunct Research Fellow with the Center for Strategic Research and the Contributing Editor for the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at NDU. He is one of the co-authors of Human Terrain Teams: An Organizational Innovation for...

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