Government and Politics – The Centre for Independent Studies

Government and Politics

With a belief in smaller government, The Centre for Independent Studies advocates policies that would limit the size of government in Australia.

In our research, we strive for policies that would reduce regulation and promote a healthy civil society, free of the burdens of big government.

How much government do we really want in Australia? How much government do we really need?

As an independent think tank, the CIS is positioned to seriously analyse the reach of big government, while emphasising freedom, responsibility and enterprise.

Featured Publication


A House Divided: The AFRB and China's Subnational Diplomacy in Australia
Salvatore Babones
12 November 2020 | AP17

This paper examines China’s subnational diplomacy in Australia and the suitability of Australia’s Foreign Relations Bill (AFRB) as a tool for countering it. The AFRB is designed to help the Commonwealth keep tabs on international diplomacy involving Australian states, territories, local governments, and public universities.…

Australia, the United States and China in a post-Covid world
Richard Alston
14 September 2020 | OP175

After three decades of prosperity and relative peace, Australia suddenly confronts a trifecta of crises: a pandemic, a recession, and a radically changed strategic outlook. In these circumstances, Australia must adapt quickly, always putting its interests first and being prepared to lead when necessary. Notwithstanding…

The 12-Week Window: Coronavirus crisis Australia didn’t have to have
Salvatore Babones
02 June 2020 | AP9

The coronavirus crisis was ‘the crisis that Australia didn’t have to have’. This paper lays out a detailed weekly timeline of the crucial first twelve weeks of the crisis, which were Australia’s window of opportunity for fighting the virus at the border instead of in…

Australia's Export Exposure to China's Coronavirus Epidemic
Salvatore Babones
18 February 2020 | AP7

This paper estimates the direct and immediate effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the revenues of Australia’s major export industries. It breaks down Australia’s exports to China across 18 major industry groups, including both goods and services exports. China’s coronavirus epidemic is likely to cost…

Taking Back Control: Restoring Universalism in the Age of Identity Politics
Amanda Stoker
16 April 2019 | OP170

It can feel safer avoiding conversations on social issues that can be landmines at the best of times. But the longer those who believe in freedom and responsibility sit on the sidelines, the longer we give free rein for others to shape the debate. Where…

Media & Commentary

Alles Gute, Mathias Cormann!
Fiona Mueller
26 March 2021 | Ideas@TheCentre

While not a product of Australian education, former Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann, is an exemplar of what our schools should aspire to emulate. Cormann’s recently announced appointment to leadership of…

25 years on from Howard's landslide
Tom Switzer
12 March 2021 | IDEAS@THECENTRE

Since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, CIS events have been generally confined to the digital platform. Over the past year, our conversations, debates and videos have attracted more than…

Does Morrison have Howard’s heart?
Tom Switzer
01 March 2021 | Financial Review

It was 25 years ago on March 2 that John Howard defeated the Labor government in a landslide election. He went on to become the nation’s second-longest serving prime minister…

Was the government's fight with Facebook worth having?
Simon Cowan
27 February 2021 | Canberra Times

The government has claimed victory over Facebook, but it is not at all clear that the latest round of the ongoing fight over the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory…

Last tango in Melbourne
Steven Schwartz
26 February 2021 | IDEAS@THECENTRE

As Covid-19 trudges through endless revisions of rules and regulations, Australia’s response to the virus is beginning to resemble the blackest of farces. State premiers, untethered from parliamentary democracy, are…