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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 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

  • 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

  • Must Religion be a Threat to Liberty?

    Robert Sirico | 05 Jul 2008 | OP112

    Does Christianity destroy or defend freedom? Answering this question, Fr Robert A. Sirico turns to the foundations of Christianity.... 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

  • Do Secular Societies Promote Religious Extremism?

    Tom Frame | 07 Apr 2008 | OP108

    In the Annual Acton Lecture Tom Frame looks at secularism in society. He concludes that in a genuinely secular society all must recognise and respect the opinions of those with whom they disagree. They...... 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

  • Religion and Politics: Contemporary Tensions

    Paul Kelly | 12 May 2007 | OP105

    Religion has always been important but the decline in Christian practice in recent decades led to a widespread assumption of religion’s decline in civic and political life.  However, according to Paul...... 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

  • The Ethic of Respect: A Leftwing Cause

    Frank Field | 09 Mar 2006 | OP102

    Frank Field argues that nineteenth century Christianity bequeathed us a "rich deposit of ethical values", which he summarises as an 'ethic of respect'. In this paper he warns that this ethic is rapidly...... 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

  • 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

  • Fairness in a Liberal Society

    Richard Epstein | 28 Nov 2005 | OP99

    Richard Epstein unravels different conceptions of fairness, a term whcih is elusive and indefinable, yet an indispensible part of our language.... 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

  • Smothering By the Security Blanket: Risk, Responsibility and the Role of Government

    Caspar Conde | 19 Sep 2005 | OP95

    To what extent can the government manage risk in our society without smothering self-responsibility and impinging on personal liberties? Conde outlines strategies for reducing risks citing examples of...... 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