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Soft Power Analysis and Resource Centre

Working towards changing the world for good (watch video)

Macquarie University's Soft Power Analysis and Resource Centre (SPARC) is the first dedicated centre associated with soft power and public diplomacy in Australia.  SPARC has the potential to be a focal point and significant source of leadership for research and initiatives that support this area of emerging global significance and importance.

Macquarie University advocates the ethical use of soft power in public diplomacy and governance, and views the use of soft power as vital in building future relations between nations, organisations and communities.

SPARC will advance and enrich the study and practice of soft power and public diplomacy through:

  • research and analysis
  • public lectures, workshops and events
  • training programs
  • consulting engagements
  • collaboration in projects
  • collaboration in teaching of public diplomacy and soft power

India, China eye soft power path to better ties

India and China are looking at increasing soft power linkages as part of a new diplomatic engagement to reduce distrust between the two neighbours, which have a festering border row (The Straits Times 24 December 2018). 

Former Premier Wen Jiabao dons a traditional hat given to him by Indian youths at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. 

The group was on a 10-day visit as part of the Year of China-India Exchange. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]. 2011.

Photo by Feng Yongbin_China Daily

While SPARC ambit is global, its outreach within the Asia Pacific Region focuses on neighbouring and overlapping Chinese and Indian civilizations.

As neighbouring countries, China and India's steady rise towards becoming leading world economic powers creates strategic opportunities and challenges for Australia. SPARC can play a signficant role in actively advocating and nurturing spaces of soft power between our three countries. 

Encouraging and implementing cooperative projects between diasporic communities will further increase inter-country cutural understanding and respect and contribute to the greater likelihood of continued cooperation, and productive economic relations.  In this way, the arts, science, technology, industry, education and media will have an important role to play.

China Daily on Colours of India

(ABC Big Ideas SPARC Launch video has been archived. Click below on KEYNOTE ADDRESS)



Professor Joseph Nye's KEYNOTE ADDRESS at the SPARC launch on 18 December 2012




  • China's Covid Diplomacy  State of the Arts - May 2020
  • Professor Joseph S. Nye Jnr. on "What is a Moral Foreign Policy?" The Strategist. Texas National Security Review: Volume 3, Issue 1 (Winter 2019/2020)
  • Professor Naren Chitty AM spoke on "Power rivalry in the Indian Ocean - Influence and sentiment' at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka on 17th July 2019. 
  • Professor Naren Chitty AM will deliver the 2019 Soft Power Oration on 4 April 2019 on the topic of "Advancing Australia through Soft Power: Virtue & Virtuosity".
    Details and a registration window are available HERE .
  • Dr Patrick Patrick Macartney speaks on "Soft power and yoga" - 7 August 2018 
  • Professor Naren Chitty speaks on "Soft Power and Civic Virtue" at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Australian National University, on 2 August 2018.
  • Professor Jayantha Dhanapala speaks on "Soft power: Hard challenges for disarmament" - 12 July 2018
  • CFP for Anthem Studies on Soft Power & Public Diplomacy Series launched with Prof. Naren Chitty as Series Editor - 19 June 2018



2015 - 2017

2011 - 2014

Event footage: The Hon. John Howard OM AC

Watch the inaugural lecture of the Master Class in Public Diplomacy, by Hon. John Howard OM AC, Former Prime Minister of Australia.

SPARC - Antipodal Soft Power

Watch an online video from the 2011 Bruce Allen Memorial Lecture - Broadcasting Australia: Antipodal Soft Power ( Maurice Newman A.C., Chairman, ABC).


Naren Chitty speaks on an Advocating Role for Australia. 

What is Soft Power?

Soft power is the power of attraction. It is constituted by institutional, cultural and place magnetism.

It can be expressed in terms of the most attractive and compelling characteristics of a country and culture; the things that captivate and draw others without coercion. This magnetism is soft power, and magnets such as cultural products, cities, museums, media, education and values are among the many soft power resources.


For information about SPARC, please contact Professor Naren Chitty A.M.
Phone: (02) 9850 2160
Fax: (02) 9850 2101