Foreign Policy

The Centre for Independent Studies has contributed to the public debate on a range of topical foreign policy issues.

The CIS advocated pragmatic and cautious foreign policy settings to help safeguard a peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific.  Our research has extended from defence policy to global democratisation, but recently focused on China-Australia relations, the US security presence in Asia, Chinese foreign policy, and foreign aid.

For further information on our foreign policy areas, proceed to:

Featured Publication


Investor-State Arbitration and the Rule of Law: Debunking the Myths
Patrick Carvalho
13 April 2016 | Research Report 13

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is a legal provision in international agreements that enables foreign investors to take host states to an arbitral tribunal for alleged treaty breaches. The goal of investor-state arbitration is to provide a de-politicised, unbiased and law-based adjudication forum to guarantee the…

The Wasatia Movement: Moderation & Tolerance in Islam
Mohammed Dajani
04 June 2015

Dr Mohammed Dajani, founder of the Wasatia Movement, discussed the formation of Al Wasatia, the first Islamic Palestinian organisation to call for a negotiated peace with Israel and to suggest the adoption of liberal values such as tolerance, freedom of speech, rule of law, pluralism,…

The Fog of Foreign Policy: Why only ‘least bad’ options are available in Syria, Iraq and other global hotspots
Benjamin Herscovitch
18 May 2015 | Research Report 4

Foreign policy is typically a blandly bipartisan affair in liberal democracies like Australia and the United States. Although different slogans are employed by left and right, major political parties support broadly liberal foreign policy goals. Both sides of politics want to preserve peace and national…

The rise of China’s imperial president
Kerry Brown, Peter Cai, Benjamin Herscovitch
13 April 2015

Chinese President Xi Jinping has emerged as the Middle Kingdom’s most powerful strongman since paramount leader Deng Xiaoping. In the two years following his ascension, Xi has further centralised political powers, muzzled dissidents and activists even more tightly, and pursued increasingly muscular foreign policy. Xi…

What are we fighting for? Islamism and the threat to liberal values
David Kilcullen
12 November 2014

As prepared I want first to thank the Centre for Independent Studies for the opportunity to be part of this event, with its rich tradition of provocative debate. I want to thank the team for organizing this, and for your wonderful welcome. Most importantly, I…

Media & Commentary

Sultan and Tsar walk into a bar...
Anastasia Glushko
11 December 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

…and the world comes pretty close to WWIII. Two weeks ago, fighter aircraft from NATO’s second-largest military, Turkey, shot down a Russian military plane along the Turkish-Syrian border, killing one of the pilots. Russian…

One-child change irrelevant to population growth
Patrick Carvalho
06 November 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

China’s recent decision to dump its one-child policy will produce little impact on its future population growth. Indeed, the measure is largely irrelevant, as its fertility rate is currently way…

Why China axing its one-child policy won’t make any difference
Patrick Carvalho
02 November 2015 | Daily Telegraph

The recent axing of China’s one-child policy has revived the debate on population growth and its impact on Earth’s natural resources. Yet history teaches us that economic incentives are far…

Labor racism won't play
Jeremy Sammut
23 October 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

At a forum earlier this year, a prominent Leftist economic commentator outlined his greatest fear that as the economy soured, politicians would shift the blame by reverting to the slogans…

ChAFTA: Foreign Worker Invasion Fears Unfounded
Patrick Carvalho
20 October 2015 | Huffington Post

Bill Shorten’s latest (counterproductive) demands for supporting the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement show how low the political debate has sunk. The fears over mass Chinese immigration are not supported by…