General

Freedom is one of the universally acclaimed values of Western society. It is also the main theme running through all of CIS’s work. But what are the limits of freedom? And how can we defend freedom against its foes?

Publications

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…

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…

Preserving Peace as China Rises I
Benjamin Herscovitch
13 March 2014 | FPA9

Inventive foreign policy that can simultaneously reassure the Indo-Pacific’s established powers and accommodate Chinese ambitions is urgently needed. This report proposes three complementary strategies to safeguard stability in the Indo-Pacific: Prolong US leadership; protect the territorial status quo; and pursue a policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’…

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…

Accountable Authoritarianism: Why China’s Democratic Deficit Will Last
Benjamin Herscovitch
31 October 2013 | FPA8

The Chinese Communist Party’s evolving model of ‘accountable authoritarianism’ is set to prove that prosperity need not produce democracy. By pursuing a moderate reformist agenda within the framework of one-party rule, the CCP will secure its grip on government and ensure that political decisions remain…

Media & Commentary

We decide
Peter Kurti
14 August 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

The issue of marriage equality will now be put to the country at the next election, rather than a plebiscite before then. And this is exactly what should happen. While…

Citizenship and the Rule of Law
Barry Maley
12 June 2015 | ideas@TheCentre

The hideous 30 Years War in the 17th century ended with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648; a treaty that, despite some lack of  clarity, established the notion of ‘nation’…

18C is not what keeps us civil
Jeremy Sammut
02 April 2015

The Abbott Government’s attempt to remove Section 18C from the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) was politically doomed the moment Senator George Brandis uttered his now infamous statement about people having…

Magna Carta started as a failure
20 February 2015

How did a gang of thirteenth century one-percenters in England change the course of history with a document that failed at its start? The Magna Carta, which is celebrating its…

18C makes us all tongue-tied
Jeremy Sammut
20 January 2015 | The Australian

The Charlie Hebdo massacre has renewed calls for the federal parliament to amend Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA). According to Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, this is…