• Print
  • Email

Occasional Papers


Occasional Papers (OP) are short publications usually based on a lecture or presentation given at the CIS. Our annual John Bonython and Acton Lectures are part of the OP series.

  • After the Welfare State: Politicians Stole Your Future … You Can Get It Back

    08 Apr 2013 | OP132

    History, economics, sociology, political science, and mathematics are the tools to understand and evaluate welfare states, rather than emotional responses or conspiracy theories. This little book, edited... Read More

  • Capitalism and Virtue: Reaffirming Old Truths

    07 Feb 2013 | OP130

    In the 2012 Annual John Bonython Lecture, eminent political scientist Charles Murray describes the larger historical forces that have been at work in the United States (and, to a lesser extent, Australia)... Read More

  • The Condensed Wealth of Nations and The Incredibly Condensed Theory of Moral Sentiments

    12 Jun 2012 | OP126

    In The Condensed Wealth of Nations, Eamonn Butler condenses Adam Smith’s work and explains the key concepts in The Wealth of Nations clearly. It is accessible and readable to any intelligent layman. This... Read More

  • The Multi-layered Hayek

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 22 Dec 2010 | OP122

    Friedrich August von Hayek was one of the intellectual giants of the 20th century. His contributions ranged from economics to philosophy, from law to psychology. This collection of essays aims to rediscover... Read More

  • Ludwig von Mises – A Primer

    Eamonn Butler | 16 Dec 2010 | OP120

    In Ludwig von Mises – A Primer, Eamonn Butler presents a comprehensive yet accessible overview of the outstanding achievements of one of the greatest economists and political scientists of the twentieth... Read More

  • Empires on the Edge of Chaos: The Nasty Fiscal Arithmetic of Imperial Decline

    Niall Ferguson | 14 Dec 2010 | OP118

    In the 26th John Bonython lecture, Niall Ferguson, one of the world’s leading geo-economic thinkers and best-selling author of The Ascent of Money and The War of the World, discussed the complexity behind... Read More

  • After the Wall – Reflections on the Legacy of 1989

    John Lee, Lee Duffield, Martin Krygier and Oliver Marc Hartwich | 08 Sep 2010 | OP116

    When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, it marked the end of the Cold War and of Eastern European communism. Two decades on, The Centre for Independent Studies commemorated the historic events in a discussion... Read More

  • Declaring Dependence, Declaring Independence: Three Essays on the Future of the Welfare State

    Peter Saunders | 01 Aug 2008 | OP111

    In a time when governments are running up enormous welfare bills and intrusively regulating everyday life, this series of essays remind us that many people do not need to rely on the government to survive. Read More

  • Anglo Primacy and the End of History: The Deep Roots of Power

    Lawrence Mead | 01 Aug 2008 | OP109

    The 24th Annual John Bonython Lecture Whether the United States should lead the world is much debated, but American primacy in some form is unavoidable.  Lawrence Mead examines that at the end of history,... Read More

  • Milton Friedman: A Tribute

    Maurice Newman | 04 Dec 2007 | OP106

    Nobel-Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman died in late 2006. In March 2007, the CIS hosted a tribute to Friedman and his contribution to Australia's political and economic life. This Occasional Paper... Read More

  • Sensory Order and Economic Order: The links between human cognition and economic freedom in Hayek's thought.

    Julie Novak | 01 Mar 2006 | OP101

    In this paper, Julie Novak illustrates the connection between The Sensory Order and Hayek's economic thought.  His psychological theories were profound in understanding how human beings acquire and communicate... Read More

  • The Wealth of Generations:Capitalism and the Belief in the Future

    Johan Norberg | 28 Nov 2005 | OP98

    In this John Bonython Lecture, with optimism and humour, Johan Norberg looks forward to a future which can only improve with greater freedom, increased knowledge, wealth and technology on our side. Read More

  • Welfare Reform and Economic Development for Indigenous Communities

    Noel Pearson | 25 Oct 2005 | OP100

    Noel Pearson's lecture is to set out a case for a comprehensive reform agenda in Cape York Peninsula. Read More

  • Between Two Worlds. Australian Foreign Policy Responses to New and Old Security Dilemmas

    David Martin Jones and Susan Windybank | 23 Oct 2005 | OP97

    Globalisation has connected these two worlds through ease of travel, communications and financial flows, but it has not integrated them. The split is particularly pronounced in the Asia Pacific region,... Read More

  • In Defence of Secure Property Rights, 2nd revised edition

    Wolfgang Kasper | 19 Oct 2004 | OP92

    Secure private property rights are vital to the development of a growing, healthy Australian economy. Property rights allow owners to be free to access, use and benefit from and dispose of their property... Read More

  • In Defence of Secure Property Rights

    Wolfgang Kasper | 03 Jun 2003 | OP84

    Secure private property rights are vital to the development of a growing, healthy Australian economy. Property rights allow owners to be free to access, use and benefit from and dispose of their property... Read More

  • A Self-Reliant Australia. Welfare Policy for the 21st century

    Peter Saunders | 16 Mar 2003 | OP86

    In this paper Peter Saunders suggests that the time has come to turn back the growth of this expensive, damaging, demeaning and largely unnecessary welfare state behemoth Read More

  • Has History Restarted Since September 11?

    Francis Fukuyama | 03 Apr 2002 | OP81

    Francis Fukuyama argues that the fracture line over globalisation could turn out to be a division, not between West and the Rest, but between the United States and the Rest. He examines the differing reactions... Read More

  • What Governments Can't Know: The Knowledge Economy and the Market

    | 04 Feb 2002 | OP77

    Are governments well placed to foster the infusion of different types of complex knowledge to create new or better goods and services? The Eighteenth Annual John Bonython Lecture delivered by Lauchlan... Read More

  • What Governments Can't Know: The Knowledge Economy and the Market

    Lauchlan Chipman | 04 Feb 2002 | OP77

    Are governments well placed to foster the infusion of different types of complex knowledge to create new or better goods and services? The Eighteenth Annual John Bonython Lecture delivered by Lauchlan... Read More

  • The End of Chaos: Global Markets and the Information Era

    Jerry Jordan | 24 Nov 1999 | OP72

    Governments have long pursued policies that determined the degree to which markets have been permitted to operate. But in the 1999 John Bonython Lecture, Jerry Jordan suggests that markets will, paradoxically... Read More

  • Economics & Ethics: The Dispute and the Dialogue

    Samuel Gregg | 02 Nov 1999 | OP71

    The relationship between economists and religious thinkers is often acrimonious. In this Occasional Paper, an economist Professor Ian Harper and a theologian Dr Samuel Gregg examine some of the causes... Read More

  • How Markets Work: Disequilibrium, Entrepreneurship and Discovery

    Israel Kirzner | 12 Oct 1999 | OP64

    Mainstream economic theory starts from the assumption of 'equilibrium', under which markets are perfectly competitive. The 'Austrian' tradition, argues that this amounts to the assuming away of the most... Read More

  • The Road Not Taken- Hayek’s Slippery Slope to Serfdom

    Neil McInnes | 01 Nov 1998 | OP65

    In 1944 Friedrich Hayek published The Road to Serfdom, a warning against the totalitarian dangers involved in central economic planning. Although out of step with the intellectual fashions of its time,... Read More

  • The Morality of Capitalism

    James Q. Wilson | 15 Oct 1997 | OP62

    Capitalism is winning the economic battle all over the world. The collapse of socialism has left it without serious challenge as a wealth-creating system. But moral criticism of capitalism continues. Even... Read More

  • Democracy and the Welfare State

    Kenneth Minogue | 01 Sep 1997 | OP61

    The welfare state has now been experienced by several generations. In this Occasional Paper, Professor Kenneth Minogue looks at some of its effects on the character of Western states and societies. The... Read More

  • A Tribute to the Modest Member: Bert Kelly

    Ray Evans | 01 Jun 1997 | OP60

    Bert Kelly was for many years a lone parliamentary campaigner for free market ideas and against protectionism. He popularised his message via his ‘The Modest Member’ newspaper column, which continued... Read More

  • Markets, Morals and Community

    Andrew Norton | 01 Oct 1996 | OP59

    Few people today doubt the market’s contribution to prosperity, but still there are powerful intellectual traditions opposing the market. The market’s current critics fear not so much that it will... Read More

  • Institutions of innovation and Poverty

    Ray Ball | 27 Aug 1996 | OP58

    Western nations benefit from social institutions that create prosperity and liberty. The separation of the economic and political spheres and the emergence of institutions of private property and markets... Read More

  • The Boundaries of Life’s Responsibilities- Community and Nation in a Global Environment

    Gary Sturgess | 01 Jul 1996 | OP57

    Gary Sturgess argues that globalisation’s tensions can be eased by clarifying the role of each level of government. Many decisions are best made at a local level, and by giving control of these decisions... Read More

  • The Century of Networking

    Rupert Murdoch | 20 Oct 1994 | OP51

    In this John Bonython Lecture, Rupert Murdoch reflects on the coming century of networking. In contrast with pessimistic views of technology taken by writers such as George Orwell, Mr Murdoch sees technology... Read More

  • Failure, Chaos and Leadership- Ingredients of Democratic Reform

    Kenneth Baxter | 01 Aug 1994 | OP49

    In this Occasional Paper, delivered as a Bert Kelly Lecture in June 1994, Kenneth P. Baxter says that substantial and far-reaching changes must be made if Australia is not to become a ‘post-colonial... Read More

  • Lessons from the Freiburg School: The Institutional Foundations of Freedom and Prosperity

    Wolfgang Kasper | 01 Jul 1993 | OP44

    West Germany’s post-War economic success was based on the ideas of the ‘Freiburg school,’ a school of liberal economists, lawyers and social philosophers centred at Freiburg University. Read More

  • Advertising Bands: Administrative Decisions or Matters of Principle?

    John Gray | 01 Dec 1992 | OP42

    In this Occasional Paper, John Gray argues that the paradox reflects the fallacious belief that the economic sphere of life requires security rather than freedom. Read More

  • Dismantling Socialism: A Preliminary Report

    Vaclav Klaus | 05 Aug 1991 | OP35

    In the eighth John Bonython Lecture, Václav Klaus, Finance Minister of Czechoslovakia, gives an account of his government’s attempts to move away from a socialist system towards a free-enterprise system. Read More

  • Liberating Labour: The Case for Freedom of Contract in Labour Relations

    Michael James | 05 Aug 1991 | OP36

    The legitimacy of the welfare state has survived the shift in recent years towards smaller government and a greater role for individual initiative and enterprise in the economy. In this CIS Occasional... Read More

  • The Market Process and Environmental Amenities

    Terry L. Anderson | 06 May 1991 | OP34

    Most observers believe that free markets self-evidently harm the environment, and that the only available remedy is government regulation to ensure a ‘balance’ between economic growth and environmental... Read More

  • Socialism Is Dead But Leviathan Lives On

    James M. Buchanan | 03 May 1990 | OP30

    In the seventh John Bonython Lecture, James Buchanan observes that the death of socialism has not been accompanied by the rise of any widespread faith in the free enterprise system, even though that system... Read More

  • The Third World Debt Crisis: Can’t Pay or Won’t Pay?

    Peter T. Bauer | 13 Mar 1990 | OP31

    In this Occasional Paper, Lord Bauer questions the widely held belief that debt service is a major cause of poverty in Third World countries. He points out that: Almost all debtor countries restrict... Read More

  • Social Welfare: The Changing Debate

    David Green | 05 May 1988 | OP20

    David D. Green’s monograph Social Welfare: The Changing Debate, summarises the research findings and arguments of several recent studies of welfare dependency. Read More

  • Beyond the Current Pessimism

    Ray Ball | 05 Aug 1987 | OP18

    Professor Ray Ball gives a personal interpretation of the historical roots of Australia’s economic malaise. Read More

  • The Enemies of Progress

    Ralph Harris | 05 Aug 1986 | OP16

    In the third John Bonython Lecture, Ralph Harris recounts the advances that economic freedom and entrepreneurship have brought the world and reminds us that all this good has been an ‘unintended consequence... Read More

  • The Anti-Capitalist Mentality: Post Mortem for an Ideology

    R.M. Hartwell | 05 Dec 1985 | OP14

    In the Second John Bonython Lecture, Professor R. M. Hartwell traces the history of the anti-capitalist mentality back to myths surrounding the Industrial Revolution in England. Read More

  • Trial Without Error: Anticipation vs Resilence as Strategies for Risk Reduction

    Aaron Wildavsky | 19 Aug 1985 | OP13

    Safety regulations are proliferating at a great rate in society today, attempting to protect us from hundreds of known and unknown dangers. It is the unknown dangers that Aaron Wildavsky addresses here.... Read More

  • Enterprise: Free, Dependent or Captor?

    Warren Hogan | 08 Aug 1985 | OP12

    The relationship between government and business is the theme of this essay. Each depends on the other, and each uses the other for its own purposes. Business seeks favours from government in the form... Read More

  • The Case Against the Arbitration Commission

    P.P. McGuinness | 26 Apr 1985 | OP11

    The Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission is the main obstacle to much-needed reform of industrial relations according to the author of this essay. Read More

  • The Role of the Entreprenuer in the Economic System

    Israel Kirzner | 16 Feb 1984 | OP10

    In the Inaugural John Bonython Lecture, Israel Kirzner strongly defends the entrepreneur's role in keeping our economy healthy and vigorous. Buy download or Buy Hardcopy Read More

  • Democracy in Crisis

    Michael Jensen | 05 Oct 1983 | OP8

    Michael C. Jensen and William H. Meckling argue that the capacity of modern governments to transfer property rights unilaterally distorts the political market in favour of vested interests and poses a... Read More

  • Liberty, Justice and the Market

    Lauchlan Chipman | 12 Dec 1981 | OP6

    Lauchlan Chipman challenges us not only to reject the notion that there is a conflict between liberty, justice and the market, but to accept the idea that they are mutually supportive. Read More

  • The Rhetoric and Reality of Income Redistribution

    Gordon Tullock | 25 Sep 1981 | OP5

    In this survey of a variety of aspects of income redistribution, Gordon Tullock asks not that we should necessarily change our behaviour, but that we should at least speak the truth about what we are doing. Read More

  • Taxation, Inflation and the Role of the Government

    Milton Friedman | 05 Jun 1981 | OP4

    In this publication, the proceedings of a seminar conducted by the Centre for Independent Studies, Milton Friedman is joined by Australian economists Michael Porter, Fred Gruen and Don Stammer in the discussion... Read More

  • Taxation, Inflation and the Role of the Government

    Milton Friedman | 30 Nov -0001

    Milton Friedman is one of the most authoritative and independent figures in the fields of economics and political philosophy today. His research and published works have established him as the leading... Read More

  • The Long Debate on Poverty

    R.M. Hartwell | 30 Nov -0001

    The Centre for Independent Studies Occasional Papers series provides an opportunity for authors to present personal perspectives on broad issues of public policy. This definitive examination of the long... Read More