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 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…

Hallowed Institutions: Religion and The Roots of Liberty and Prosperity
Peter Kurti
12 February 2016 | OP144

God appears to be resurgent in 21st century societies around the world. As our awareness of the claims made by religion becomes more acute, it is ever more important to understand those claims as well as the challenges and contributions religious belief has made, and…

Media & Commentary

Did Senate voting reform fail?
Simon Cowan
12 August 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

The Senate voting reform package earlier this year that abolished group voting tickets was designed to ensure that the election of senators more closely reflected what ‘each and every voter…

The Coup, The Dictator, and Democracy?
12 August 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

Erdogan refusing this week to release the body of a ‘traitor’ teacher for burial highlights just how brutal the divorce between democracy and Turkey has become. After years of undemocratic…

Judge anti-discrimination law by results, not good intentions
Helen Andrews
05 August 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

In the midst of public debate about exemptions to anti-discrimination law and whether they should be expanded or eliminated, we often forget to take a step back and ask the…

Heed Burke on plebiscite
Trisha Jha
28 July 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

Federal Attorney-General finally put to rest doubts about the government’s position on same-sex marriage when he announced that a submission for the mooted plebiscite would go to Cabinet within weeks,…

Brexit: A Rocky Path to an Uncertain Future
28 July 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

The sensationalist post-Brexit news headlines predicting continued losses in global markets have ceased splashing across the covers of major news publications the world over. The landmark referendum result shock appears…