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Personal profile


Professor Emeritus Naren Chitty A.M. is Professor of International Communication in the Department of International Studies: Languages & Cultures. He is the Inaugural Director of the Soft Power Analysis and Resource Centre (SPARC) and was the Inaugural Associate Dean (International) of the Faculty of Arts. He was appointed Foundation Chair in International Communication in 2006. SPARC was inaugurated in 2011 and has so far attracted $1,120,000 in HERDC 3 International B research funding. 

The 1st. edition of The Routledge Handbook of Soft Power  edited by Naren Chitty, Li Ji, Gary D. Rawnsley and Craig Hayden was released in 2017. A 2nd. edition is forthcoming. This includes his chapter "An experiential theory of attraction-based influence: unintended and intended".  Naren is the Series Editor of  Anthem Studies in Soft Power and Public Diplomacy that was launched in 2018. 

He began his academic career  in 1989, introducing masters (1991), doctoral (1992) and undergraduate (2003) degrees in International Communication at Macquarie University. The Master of Arts in International Communication was the first such program in Australia. He headed the Media department and International Communication department until 2003 and 2008 respectively. He led the development of the Master of International Public Diplomacy, the first in Australia. He was the Deputy Dean and Associate Dean of Higher Degree Research and Internationalisation in the late Division of Society, Culture, Media and Philosophy until 2008, serving as Dean on many occasion including for two semester-long periods.  

Naren launched The Journal of International Communication in 1992 and continues to be its Editor-in-Chief. He served as the Secretary General of the International Association for Media & Communication Research (IAMCR) from 1996 to 2000.  

Prior to joining Macquarie University, Naren had a distinguished career as a diplomat in Washington DC, policy planner in the area of national television and deputy director of an NGO in community development. He was also a director of Independent Television Network (ITN) in Colombo. He started as a UNDP Young Professional in a perspective planning program in a Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs.  He was also a freelance newspaper columnist and an architect's design assistant.

Naren has a PhD in International Relations and an MA in International Communication, both from the School of International Service of the American University in Washington D.C. His undergraduate studies in communication (TV, radio and print production, media studies, sociology, psychology, history), were completed at the University of Westminster in London. His doctoral committee consisted of Professor Nicholoas Onuf and the late Professor Gary Weaver of American University and the late Professor Marshall Singer of the University of Pittsburgh.  He has an Advanced Certificate in Television Documentary Production from SFB in Berlin. He was awarded the Order of Australia on Australia Day 2009 'for services to education particularly in the field of international communication as a researcher and academic and to a range of professional associations'.  

Naren has supervised to successful completion three dozen Higher Degree Research students as Principal Supervisor and a dozen Higher Degree Research students as Associate Supervisor. He currently supervises in the area of soft power and public diplomacy.

Research Interests

Naren's primary current focus of research is in analyzing  attraction based influence  - that includes soft power when intended and soft [power] when unintended.  He has also theorized on soft power and soft [power] as experience.  Additionally, his research examines international communication. media theory, new media of international communication, and propaganda. 

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence; Alternative media; Influence; International communication theory; International Public Relations; Media and foreign policy; Media and terrorism; New media of international communication; Public Diplomacy; Social media; Soft Power.

External positions

Visiting Professor, Jilin University


Visiting Professor, Southwest University of Politics and Law

Jul 2012 → …

Visiting Professor, Communication University of China


Visiting Professor, South China Normal University

2011 → …

Visiting Professor, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Feb 2010 → …

Visiting Professor, Universite de la Sorbonne Nouvelle

Mar 2009Apr 2009

Visiting Professor, Universite Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3

Jan 2004

Adjunct Research Associate, University of South Australia


Visiting Associate, Michigan State University

1995 → …

Visiting Associate, The American University

1995 → …


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