Ideas about Liberty

Ideas about liberty permeate all elements of CIS research. How much government and regulation does Australia need are questions that we address through our research and events program.

We believe in liberty; freedom of association, religion and speech; and the right to property.

The ideal we endorse is that a good society is one in which autonomous citizens are at liberty to order their affairs as they wish, and in which individuals have the capacity to take personal responsibility for their choices.

Featured Publication


Rediscovering Humility: Religious Freedom in a 21st Century Pluralist Society
Tim Wilson
05 December 2016 | OP151

Religious liberty is central to the Australian way of life. It is enshrined in the Australian Constitution. But it is not the only freedom that matters. There is a rising tension between accommodating differing freedoms in 21st century Australia. The changing face of Australia continues…

The Battle of Ideas: can the beliefs that feed terrorism be changed?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Denis Dragovic, Tanveer Ahmed, Peter Kurti
19 September 2016 | OP149

Defeating violent Islamic extremism has been a high priority for all western countries, including Australia, since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. However, the threat we face doesn’t so much come from zealots flying planes into buildings as from young people barely out of childhood and…

The Democratic Deficit: How Minority Fundamentalism Threatens Liberty in Australia
Peter Kurti
12 July 2016 | Research Report 16

We are faced with a new kind of fundamentalism – call it ‘minority fundamentalism.’ It has all the features of religious fundamentalism, such as ideological fanaticism, intolerance of dissent, and a Manichaean certainty about truth and falsehood. The goal of the minority fundamentalists is to…

Society is Broken
Theodore Dalrymple
20 June 2016 | OP146

With experience as a prison doctor and psychiatrist, Theodore Dalrymple decries the impact of the welfare state and a culture of dependence in society. A phrase such as ‘a broken society’ should not be made to bear more meaning than it has. Societies do not…

The Role of Think Tanks: A Reply to the Critics
Jeremy Sammut
13 June 2016 | OP145

Because their aims are educational and democratic, what think tanks do and why they do it is entirely transparent: they ensure their research is publically available and seek to ensure it is disseminated via the media to as broad an audience as possible in the…

Media & Commentary

Davos to Caracas
Rebecca Weisser
20 January 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

From the icy peaks of Davos, the World Economic Forum this week announced that ‘reforming the very nature of capitalism will be needed to combat the growing appeal of populist…

Explaining Trump: It’s the culture, stupid!
Jeremy Sammut
13 January 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Donald J. Trump’s January 20 inauguration as President of the United States will spark another round of punditry discussing the so-called ‘populist’ turn in Western democracies. Many commentators rightly attribute…

We're not racist
Peter Kurti
09 December 2016 | Daily Telegraph

Aussies preparing for the festive season had an unwelcome early Christmas present from the United Nations dropped in their laps earlier this week. According to UN special rapporteur on racism,…

Civil disobedience ‘shame’ worn with pride
09 December 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

Anybody doubting the ludicrous level of government meddling in business need look no further than the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. This taxpayer-funded generator of needless red tape requires businesses with…

Libertarians as useful idiots
Simon Cowan
02 December 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

In the wake of the ascendancy of Trump, Libertarians are being told to ally with the Left to oppose the new authoritarians. We are told that we shouldn’t criticise university…