The CIS examines the roles and responsibilities of commonwealth, state and local governments, the fiscal aspects of federalism and the benefits a federal structure brings to Australia.


Magna Carta: Talisman of Liberty
Barry Maley
26 June 2015 | OP142

Eight hundred years ago, in 1215, an English king was confronted by rebellious barons – the great landholders of England – who demanded that his royal powers be curbed in favour of their liberties. Their Magna Carta (or ‘Great Charter’) listed their proposals. That singular…

The Case for a New Australian Settlement: Ruminations of an Inveterate Economist
Wolfgang Kasper
26 June 2015 | OP141

Australia needs a cultural counter-revolution that appeals to the traditional Australian spirit of self-reliance and can-do optimism – a new ‘Australian settlement’ which goes beyond mere economic policy. It should be underpinned by agreed basic understandings across political and social divides: (i) ours is a…

Preserving Peace as China Rises II: Preparing for a Post-American Asian Order
Benjamin Herscovitch
01 September 2014 | FPA10

With US leadership unable to guarantee peace and security in the Indo-Pacific this century, the region will need to transition to a balance of power system divided between China, the United States, India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). To mitigate dangerously destabilising…

Submission to the National Commission of Audit
Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham, Jeremy Sammut, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Stephen Kirchner, Trisha Jha
01 April 2014 | T30.08

The federal government’s Commission of Audit (CoA) was established in 2013 to review the performance and role of government. This publication is an edited version of the CIS submission to the CoA listing practical solutions aimed at cutting government expenditure. The government should adopt a…

Multiculturalism and the Fetish of Diversity
Peter Kurti
10 December 2013 | PM138

Multiculturalism began as a response to the White Australia policy and continues to enjoy public support. But a new, ‘hard’ multiculturalism has emerged which is determined to eliminate racism. It focuses narrowly on managing diversity and regulating behaviour to stem intolerance and discrimination. However this…

Media & Commentary

Bigger not better
Robert Carling
28 August 2015

A recent advertisement in Sydney papers proclaims “It’s time to get councils working better for local communities”. So says the state government’s Office of Local Government. The ‘a’ word did…

Young jobseekers are suffering the ultimate penalty
Patrick Carvalho
11 May 2015 | Business Spectator

Labor’s new plan to tackle youth unemployment with a pilot project to improve core employability skills may have some merit. But a more effective approach to battle this ballooning issue…

Why Britain could be headed for chaos
Peter Saunders
27 March 2015

Peter Saunders files the first of his reports on the coming British general election. When the 2010 UK General Election ended in stalemate, and the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats formed a…

Let the games begin
Patrick Carvalho
13 February 2015

It's been an inspiring start to my time at CIS. My first fortnight as a Research Fellow here gives me a glimpse of the road ahead: a relentless battle in…

Why Greece is the word in Queensland
Robert Carling
03 February 2015 | Business Spectator

A three year old government is thrown out for imposing too much fiscal austerity and being too keen to sell public assets. Greece on January 25th? Yes, but Queensland too…