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


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…

Reading Recovery: A Failed Investment
Jennifer Buckingham
07 February 2019 | PP15

Five from Five is now a community education project supported by MultiLit, a reading program developer and publisher. Reading Recovery is an early intervention program for students in Year 1 who are having difficulty learning to read. It is widely used in Australia, the USA,…

I, Mechanical Pencil: Why a socialist economy can never work
Steven Kates
06 February 2019 | PP14

Socialism brings poverty and oppression. The ignorance of so many as to why only a market economy is capable of bringing prosperity and political freedom is a major problem. Too many believe a socialist utopia can be achieved if only the right people took the…

Mapping migrants: Australians’ wide-ranging experiences of immigration
Charles Jacobs
05 December 2018 | PP13

Australians’ experiences of immigration are highly varied. Using 2016 ABS Census data, this POLICY Paper finds that – statistically – the wealth of the suburb we live in can have a major impact on the type of interaction we may have with migrants.  These different…

Media & Commentary

Tow protectionism to the scrapyard
Simon Cowan
25 June 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

It’s hard to imagine anyone thought the sight of Bob Katter dressed as the Grim Reaper, being slowly circled by vintage Holden cars, would make a serious policy argument. Katter’s…

The two great threats of 2020: coronavirus – and Keynes
Tony Makin
24 June 2020 | Spectator

The fiscal response to the COVID-19 pandemic leaves an economically threatening legacy of high budget deficits and public debt. Australian governments should take action to reduce the burden the stimulus…

History may be kinder to Julia Gillard
Tom Switzer
23 June 2020 | Financial Review

Tuesday marks a notable date in Australian political history – the 10th anniversary of the Labor party coup to replace Kevin Rudd with Julia Gillard. Gillard made her challenge late on…

Censoring history makes the past impossible to grasp
Tom Switzer, Jacinta Nampijinpa Price
15 June 2020 | Sydney Morning Herald

Much of history is a story of unintended consequences. What began as a protest at the brutal treatment Minneapolis police meted out to George Floyd has turned into an international…

The coronavirus crisis we never needed to have
Salvatore Babones
08 June 2020 | Spectator

We can’t blame our leaders for being caught off-guard by the coronavirus; we all were. We can, however, hold our leaders responsible for the decisions they should have made based…