Foreign Policy

The Centre for Independent Studies has contributed to the public debate on a range of topical foreign policy issues.  Although we do not currently have a specific foreign policy research program we do have events on foreign policy issues and publish commentary.

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


Contemporary "Duck & Cover"? Terror Challenges in the 21st Century
David Kilcullen
01 December 2016 | OP150

Counter-insurgency expert, scholar and author Dr David Kilcullen is Chief Operating Officer of Meta Aerospace Capital, an aviation investment firm, and Chairman of First Mile Geo, a geospatial firm providing humanitarian mapping for NGOs in Syria and Africa. A former Australian Army officer, David has…

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…

What are We Fighting For? Islamism and the Threat to Liberal Ideas
David Kilcullen
03 May 2015 | OP140

Counterinsurgency expert and military strategist Dr David Kilcullen delivered The Centre for Independent Studies’ 2014 John Bonython Lecture with a crucial and fascinating exploration of recurring Occidentalism, why Western values are anathema to Islamists, and why we must take decisive action now to counter the…

Media & Commentary

Is there more to sweatshops than low pay?
Eugenie Joseph
08 March 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

What should be our attitude towards the manufacturing of cheap fashion in Asian ‘sweatshops’, where workers are subject to poor pay and conditions? This was the thorny topic when I…

Sorry kids, but no socialism for you
Thomas Coppel
23 January 2019 | Spectator

Views that Australia will turn into a utopia under socialism are wildly uninformed, and John Quiggin’s already infamous Guardian piece of just a few days ago painting that rosy fantasy fails to acknowledge both…

Import tariff abolition a win-win situation
Eugenie Joseph
22 January 2019 | Newcastle Herald

With US President Donald Trump’s anti-trade policies dominating the news headlines in 2018, you may have dismissed import tariffs as a distant problem that doesn’t affect you. But you might…

Heed the lesson of 2016: don't ignore the disempowered
Simon Cowan
19 January 2019 | The Sydney Morning Herald

This week saw British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal defeat, then confidence-vote victory, all in the space of 30 hours. In the United States, the government has been shut…

Divorce, Washington style
Greg Pulscher
18 January 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

As the token American at CIS, I was shocked to hear of the divide occurring back in the States. Two great sides that stood together for years, working together as…