18 April 2012
Macquarie University has opened the world's first research centre dedicated to the investigation and development of 'soft power' in international relations. Professor Joseph Nye officially launched the Soft Power Advocacy and Research Centre (SPARC) at a ceremony in Sydney on Tuesday evening.
Professor Joseph Nye is a world-leading scholar, thinker and practitioner in international relations. Among his many achievements is his pioneering work in demonstrating the concepts of "soft power" and "smart power" as real influencers in world politics.
This afternoon Professor Nye will receive an honorary doctorate for his contribution to the field of international relations. His career has spanned both academic and political arenas: he is University Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University and previously served as director of the Centre for International Affairs, and Dean of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
He has also held numerous positions in government, including service as Deputy to the US Undersecretary of State for Security Assistance, Science, and Technology; chair of the National Security Council Group on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons; chairman of the National Intelligence Council; and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.
The launch event gathered representatives from a range of organisations to consider the future of public diplomacy, including The Lowy Institute, The Global Foundation, DFAT, NSW Government and the ABC.
Researchers and students at SPARC will develop new theories and debate around models for soft power and public diplomacy through cooperative projects and ventures related to soft power and public diplomacy, particularly between Australia, China and India.