The Soft Power Advocacy and Research Centre was inaugurated by Professor Joseph S. Nye Jr. from Harvard University. It was Joseph Nye who originally coined the concept of soft power. Professor Naren Chitty AM is the inaugural director of the Centre and continues research into soft power. He takes a particular interest in China, India and their neighbour states in the South Asian region.
Professor Chitty’s work into India and China has focussed on the importance of cooperation between the two powers in dealing with human security issues in the region. An article by Prof Chitty published in the China Daily was picked up by former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s official website and appeared online in the Encyclopedia of the Chinese Communist Party. There has coincidentally been an increase in the number of Chinese statements supporting greater cooperation between India and China since this occurred, the most recent of these supporting India-China cooperation in Sri Lanka.
Most recently Professor Chitty was requested, along with Christine Lagarde of the IMF, Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and seven other experts to provide a report card on rule of law initiatives in China. Professor Chitty often presents to foreign policy elites on the importance of India-China cooperation and the maintenance of cooperative relations through soft power and public diplomacy.
The Soft Power Advocacy and Research Centre continues to enrich the study and practice of soft power and public diplomacy. It also quietly nurtures relationships between Australia, China and India.