General

The CIS examines the roles and responsibilities of commonwealth, state and local governments, the fiscal aspects of federalism and the benefits a federal structure brings to Australia.

Publications

Early Childhood Intervention: Assessing the evidence
Trisha Jha
20 September 2016 | Research Report 19

Early childhood interventions are programs that aim to improve a child’s development trajectory over the longer term. In the context of increasing disadvantage in welfare-dependent communities in Australia, governments spend considerable sums on these programs. The rationale is that investment, in theory, will reduce the…

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 myths of the generational bargain
Simon Cowan
01 March 2016 | Research Report 10

There has been a marked growth in pension cost and cohort. The percentage of people of retirement age has risen from less than 2% to almost 11% between 1911 and 2011, while the percentage of people receiving the pension has increased from around 30% to…

The myths of the generational bargain
Simon Cowan
01 March 2016 | Research Report 10

There has been a marked growth in pension cost and cohort. The percentage of people of retirement age has risen from less than 2% to almost 11% between 1911 and 2011, while the percentage of people receiving the pension has increased from around 30% to…

Magna Carta: Talisman of Liberty
Barry Maley
26 June 2015 | OP142

Eight hundred years ago, in 1215, an English king was confronted by rebellious barons – the great landholders of England – who demanded that his royal powers be curbed in favour of their liberties. Their Magna Carta (or ‘Great Charter’) listed their proposals. That singular…

Media & Commentary

Penalty rates a challenge for business
Simon Cowan
10 March 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

The government’s response to the Fair Work Commission’s decision on penalty rates has been weak. The government has appeared indecisive, yet will wear opprobrium for supporting the decision anyway. That…

Even in the age of reality TV, the personal isn't political
Simon Cowan
04 March 2017 | Canberra Times

When Trent Hunter (pictured right) walked to the podium to talk about penalty rates at a Labor press conference last week, his role was clear. He was there to put…

New international refugee compact needed
Simon Cowan
03 February 2017 | Canberra Times

When US President Trump signed an executive order on immigration last week, he not only put a temporary halt to entry from citizens of seven, largely Islamic, countries, he also…

Great Expectations
03 February 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

In Dickens’ novel, the key characters are made more miserable due to their great expectations… unrealistic expectations. Some of us may have similarly unrealistic expectations when it comes to housing…

Why those scorned by the political elites chose a wrecking ball
Simon Cowan
13 November 2016 | Canberra Times

In his acceptance speech as President-elect, Donald Trump talked of the need for Republicans and Democrats to come together as one nation. It’s a fine sentiment — but it’s being…