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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

  • Re-moralising the Welfare State

    13 Mar 2013 | OP131

    The welfare state should be fair as well as caring. Fairness requires that claimants are not treated more favourably than people who work; that more deserving cases are treated differently from less deserving... 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

  • You Can’t Say That! Freedom of Speech and the Invisible Muzzle

    06 Feb 2012 | OP124

    This collection of four speeches warns against the increasing restrictions on free speech in a world being taken over by political correctness. Ostensibly a tool for civility and respect, political correctness... 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

  • Reconciling Modernity and Tradition in a Liberal Society

    Chandran Kukathas | 21 Dec 2010 | OP121

    The distinction between traditional and modern is not a very useful one for understanding the problems confronting liberal society, or for working out how to address them because the contrast does not... 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

  • Constitutional Conservatism

    Peter Berkowitz | 15 Dec 2010 | OP119

    In The Centre for Independent Studies’ annual Acton Lecture on Religion and Freedom, Hoover Institution scholar Dr Peter Berkowitz discusses the much debated relationship between religion and politics... Read More

  • Neoliberalism: The Genesis of a Political Swearword

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 19 May 2009 | OP114

    Neoliberalism is one of the most commonly used words in political debates. Despite this, the origins of neoliberalism are hardly known. Nor does there appear to be a generally accepted definition of... Read More

  • Adam Smith - A Primer

    Eamonn Butler | 04 Jul 2008 | OP110

    Despite his fame, there is still widespread ignorance about the breadth of Adam Smith's contrinbutions to economics, politics and philosophy.  In Adam Smith - A Primer Eamonn Butler provides an authoritative... Read More

  • In Praise of Elitism

    Charles Murray, Claire Fox and Denis Dutton | 01 Feb 2008 | OP107

    Australian society is frequently characterised as egalitarian: belief in a 'fair go' for all and a love for cutting down tall poppies are canonical elements of the national character. Does our distrust... 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

  • A Short History of Australian Liberalism

    Greg Melleuish | 16 Mar 2000 | OP74

    This study was written in response to what I see as the misleading nature of the studies of Australian liberalism that have been produced to date. Read More

  • Principles for a Free Society

    Richard Epstein | 02 Aug 1999 | OP69

    The need for a principled reconciliation between the prerogatives of individual liberty and social order has been a central preoccupation of classical liberal philosophy. Professor Richard Epstein of the... 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 Modern Mask of Socialism

    Antonio Martino | 01 Nov 1998 | OP66

    After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, many people assumed that socialism was dead and that liberal democratic capitalism was to be the unchallenged way of the future. Now, however,... Read More

  • Karl Popper’s Politics: Liberalism versus Democratic Socialism

    Jeremy Shearmur | 01 Nov 1994 | OP53

    Karl Popper (1902-94) was one of the twentieth century’s leading philosophers. In this Occasional Paper Jeremy Shearmur shows how Popper’s though lends support to the ideas and institutions of classical... Read More

  • Why I Am Not a Conservative

    F.A. Hayek | 01 Nov 1992 | OP41

    Liberals who uphold the idea of a free society in which both economic and civil liberties are respected are often regarded as conservatives. In his essay ‘Why I Am Not a Conservative’, first published... Read More

  • Endangered Freedom

    Thomas Sowell | 01 Nov 1988 | OP22

    In the fifth John Bonython Lecture, Thomas Sowell argues that public life in Western countries is blighted by an ‘unconstrained vision’ of man and society. This vision treats all social evils as curable:... Read More

  • Ideas about Freedom: A Discussion

    Kenneth Minogue | 06 Apr 1986 | OP15

    Kenneth R. Minogue and John Gray, in separate essays, examine the history and assumptions behind liberalism and conservatism. They place the two doctrines squarely in the world of toady and recommend more... Read More

  • Social Justice, Socialism and Democracy: Three Australian Lectures

    F.A. Hayek | 05 Jan 1979 | OP2

    Three lectures on democracy by F.A. Hayek. Read More