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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.

  • The Kingdom of God is Forcefully Advancing and Forceful Men Lay Hold of It

    14 Sep 2011 | OP123

    In the CIS’s annual Acton Lecture on Religion and Freedom, Senator David Coltart discusses the application of biblical standards to foreign policy in terms of moral values: forsaking violence as means... 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Alliance: The View from America

    Dan Blumenthal, Doug Bandow, Kurt Campbell and Peter Brookes | 25 Aug 2005 | OP96

    The Occasional Paper aims to 'de-parochialise' the debate in Australia by asking how Americans think about the alliance. Read More

  • America and the World: The Crisis of Legitimacy

    Robert Kagan | 28 Dec 2004 | OP93

    America is suffering a crisis of international legitimacy.  So where will it find it? Read More

  • Morality and Foreign Policy

    Owen Harries | 19 Nov 2004 | OP94

    Owen Harries explores the intellectual heritage of two opposing positions on morality in foreign policy; the hands-off realist school and idealist liberal internationalists. Harries argues that a morality... Read More

  • Gulliver Unbound - Can America Rule the World?

    Joseph Joffe | 03 Dec 2003 | OP85

    America's combination of political, military, economic and cultural predominance is without precedent, and there is nothing on the horizon that suggests the speedy demise of its hegemony. However, history... 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

  • Understanding America

    Owen Harries | 04 Mar 2002 | OP80

    Our most urgent need is to understand America - both in terms of what it is and its impact on the world - for current US actions cannot be properly understood unless placed in the wider historical context... Read More

  • Nationality

    Lord Acton | 01 Dec 1997 | OP63

    Is the nation state the best form of political organisation? Should a country’s borders be based on racial or linguistic lines? Does the presence of ethnic diversity strengthen a community, or weaken... Read More

  • Economic Control or Economic Development

    Peter T. Bauer | 06 Jan 1990 | OP27

    P.T. Bauer argues that wide-ranging state controls hinder the development of Third World economies. Read More

  • UNCTAD and the North-South Dialogue

    | 04 Oct 1984 | OP9

    It is common for governments of wester industrialised nations (the ‘North; in the title) to allocate healthy portions of their budgets as aid for under-developed countries (the ‘South’). Dr Minogue... Read More