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

Publications

Have We All Gone Mad? The Snowflake Epidemic
Steven Schwartz, Lindsay Shepherd, Claire Lehmann, Tiffany Jenkins
22 November 2018 | OP168

University campuses throughout the West are in the grip of a troubling social phenomenon, now in danger of spreading beyond the ivy walls. Once bastions of intellectual rigour and freedom of thought, universities have become closed-minded and self-censoring, pandering to what appear from the outside…

Conflict vs Mistake: Academic cultures and explanatory conflict
Claire Lehmann
11 September 2018 | OP167

The 2018 Helen Hughes Lecture explains why and how universities are fuelling the corrosive identity politics phenomena that is sweeping western countries. With a mix of erudition and common sense, Claire Lehmann — the founder and editor-in-chief of renowned online magazine Quillette — unpacks complicated…

A Test of Maturity: The liberal case for action on religious freedom
Robert Forsyth
31 July 2018 | PP8

Australia has long enjoyed religious freedom in practice without robust legal protections. Such protections as there are, are found in anti-discrimination law, usually as exemptions. However freedom of religion remains vulnerable to accusations of prejudice, bigotry and discrimination when the views and practices of religious…

A Shy Hope in the Mind: Secularisation and the Diversity of Australia’s Religious Economy
Peter Kurti
12 June 2018 | AP1

There are few facets of human society — whether political, social, or economic — that are untouched by the influence of religion. Yet those who oppose any appearance of religion in the Australian public square argue that it simply has no part to play in…

A Viable Option: A National Adoption Framework
Jeremy Sammut
06 June 2018 | PP4

Implementation of the National Child Protection Accountability Framework would correct the bias towards ‘early intervention and prevention’ — in isolation from other important policies and outcomes, especially permanency — evident in the existing National Framework introduced under the Rudd Government in 2009. The new national…

Media & Commentary

Should the nanny state cap your calories?
Eugenie Joseph
18 January 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

After a summer break filled with well-earned indulgence, you may be starting your New Year’s resolution to diet. But it could soon be the government’s responsibility to control your calorie…

Santa’s a thief and a bandit
Peter Kurti
14 December 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

The imagined sounds of reindeer hooves clomping on the roof, and those of a laden man clambering into the chimney, have thrilled over-excited, sleepless children for generations. But in their…

Banking royal commission: Ken Henry is wrong to blame capitalism
Eugenie Joseph
28 November 2018 | Financial Review

Ken Henry has joined the cavalcade of prominent figures trying to scapegoat capitalism for the failures of governments and individuals. That’s akin to blaming democracy for voter fraud. The NAB…

CIS: Uni review a win for free speech on campus
Jeremy Sammut
14 November 2018 | MEDIA RELEASE

The review of freedom of speech at universities announced by the federal government is a timely initiative to ensure the rights and freedoms of all Australians are protected on Australian…

Sydney Uni's theatre of the absurd
Tom Switzer
01 November 2018 | AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW

For generations, the university has been a place designed as a crucible of debate and discussion. That means allowing free-thinking and the exchange of ideas in order to acquire knowledge…