It's a rare thing in an international relations expert to possess a balance of theory and experience, history and imagination, realism and hope. Coral had this, and she had a 19th-century prose style to match it. Through her writing she explained the chaos of international events and human affairs in simple and clear language to her baffled compatriots. For the rest of the world, she brought an antipodean temperament and perspective to the great questions of our time; she was our George Kennan in thick glasses, blue floral dress, white sneakers and a string of pearls.
— Minh Bui Jones, The Lowy Interpreter, 5 October 2012
Described as Australia’s most distinguished analyst of contemporary international politics, Dr Coral Bell AO (1923-2012) was an internationally renowned scholar with a close connection to the Departments and Centres within the School. Dr Bell’s distinguished career as a leading analyst of international relations for more than 40 years bridges the School’s core missions of research excellence and policy engagement in international politics. As Brendan Taylor notes"Coral Bell not only shaped Australian defence and foreign policy; she foresaw the challenges and dangers of today’s world decades in advance."
The February 2015 launch of the newly named Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs coincided with the release of Power and International Relations: Essays in Honour of Coral Bell edited by Desmond Ball and Sheryn Lee. With contributions from more than a dozen of Dr Bell's friends and colleagues, the book honours her life and examines her ideas and, through them, her legacy.