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


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…

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…

Media & Commentary

Clinton won: here's why
Simon Cowan
30 September 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

No-one likes to be wrong. No-one likes having their mistakes and contradictions pointed out in public. But everyone knows someone who just cannot let it go until they have shown…

Trump won: here's why
Peter Kurti
30 September 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

Trade, tax and temperament were three of the issues on which the two candidates clashed in their first presidential debate. Clinton did well enough, but victory surely went to Donald…

There's no room for child marriages in Australia
Peter Kurti
22 September 2016 | Daily Telegraph

Horrifying news of a spike in forced child marriages needs to prompt some serious questions about the wisdom of Australia’s official policy of multiculturalism. According to Australian Federal Police figures…

Sugar tax insanity is catching
Trisha Jha
19 September 2016 | Spectator Flat White

Here we go again. The UK Government unveiled its plans for a sugar tax in March this year. Closer to home, the Labour Party in New Zealand was recently reported…

Shunning reform the real 'fool's errand'
Peter Kurti
16 September 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

Restrictions on free speech imposed by section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 look set to remain in place as the government turns its back on reform. But this…