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Hearts and Minds

US Cultural Management in 21st Century Foreign Relations


Edited By 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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A Servant Is Not Greater Than His Master: American Primacy in Australian Security



One of the most remarkable aspects of America’s much vaunted ‘pivot to Asia’ is how unremarkable its manifestation in the north of Australia is for the Australian public. President Barack Obama’s announcement in November 2011, heralding ‘the next proud chapter in our alliance’, when United States Marine Corps personnel would transit through Darwin on six month rotations, was received with barely a whimper—despite the fact that it represented the addition of a permanent, Australian based, US Marine component to the largest empire of bases the world has ever known (Turse 2011). Australian media coverage quickly centered on the promised economic benefits of the deployment, but little space was devoted to interrogating what the troop rotation was part of, either in a broader geostrategic sense, or in its symbolic and political implications.

Even now, such debate as exists regurgitates decades-old accounts of statecraft and audit-style commentaries on the economy of national arsenals, anchored entirely within a realist framework of international relations. The nature of the deployment itself as a ‘base’ is semantically denied by the Australian government, despite the physical and strategic reality. The self-evidencing and mutually beneficial necessity of American military hegemony for Australia’s national security is projected as follows; The United States, in its role as peerless global power, must maintain the international economic, political, and security order it established in the aftermath of World War II. Australia, resource rich, with a small population, and a cultural outsider in the region,...

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