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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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Invisible Hand versus Visible Fist: Securing the Future Wealth of Nations

    P.J. O'Rourke | 01 Nov 2009 | OP115

    In the 25th John Bonython Lecture, PJ O'Rourke presents his views of the economic and financial crisis that is shaking the world.  PJ O'Rourke's answer to a decline in the value of speculative assets?... Read More

  • The Role of Government in a Liberal Society

    Suri Ratnapala | 02 Sep 2008 | OP113

    Modern government has grown out  of all proportion, becoming a serious threat to life, liberty, property and the public interest.   Read More

  • History as the Story of Liberty: A Globalised Western Civilisation

    Arthur Herman | 05 May 2007 | OP104

    In this lecture, Dr Herman explores how a prosperous and culturally diverse world depends on the human freedoms embedded in a globalised Western civilisation. Read More

  • Farewell to Liberty, Equality and Fraternity: Is the Left still on the Left?

    Dirk Maxeiner and Michael Miersch | 03 Mar 2006 | OP103

    In this Occasional Paper translated by Wolfgang Kasper, two German analysts, Dirk Maxeiner and Michael Miersch argue that the Left's classical aspirations have long been realised in all mature welfare... 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

  • Reconnecting Compassion and Charity

    Roger Kerr | 01 Jan 1999 | OP67

    Supporters of big government and the welfare state regularly accuse their opponents of lacking ‘compassion’. But how much have they thought about what compassion really involves? And how do they reconcile... 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 Political Economy of Freedom

    Michael Oakeshott | 01 Nov 1994 | OP52

    The Political Economy of Freedom is an eloquent discussion of the importance of a diffusion of power in maintaining freedom. 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

  • From Welfare State to Welfare Society

    Michael James | 01 Jul 1992 | OP38

    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.  Michael James argues... Read More

  • Are We Winning?

    Antonio Martino | 01 May 1990 | OP29

    Although classical liberal ideas are at present in the ascendancy, there is no guarantee that they will succeed in the long run in substantially reducing the size and power of the state. In this Occasional... 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

  • Ideas, Interests and Experience: Some Implications for Policy Advice

    Roger Kerr | 03 Mar 1988 | OP19

    Economists are increasingly called upon by bureaucrats and government official for policy advice. But economists have not always been able to present their ideas effectively. Many basic concepts of economics... 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

  • 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

  • Democracy in Crisis

    Michael Jensen | 30 Nov -0001

    Is there are conflict between unlimited political democracy and a Markey economy? Jensen and Meckling argue that the capacity of modern governments to transfer property rights unilaterally distorts the... Read More

  • TRIAL WITHOUT ERROR: Anticipation vs Resilence as Strategies for Risk Reduction

    Aaron Wildavsky | 30 Nov -0001

    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