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

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…

What’s happened to the University?
Frank Furedi, Marguerite Johnson, Steven Schwartz
05 February 2018 | OP163

Trigger warnings, cultural appropriation and safe spaces. Who decided to bestow guardian status to Australian universities? And why should we let this proliferation of politically correct ideals become the norm, prescribing, censoring or outright banning texts, gagging speech and curbing the exchange of ideas? “The…

Liberty and Surveillance: What should governments and private corporations know about you?
Tom Simpson
30 January 2018 | OP162

Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA hacked the internet as a key part of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence program. Since these revelations in 2013, legislation has largely served to give a secure legal backing to what was previously an undisclosed, covert and sometimes informal…

Media & Commentary

No basis in bias science
Monica Wilkie
07 September 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

News that the Australian Taxation Office has been running unconscious bias training (UBT) courses raises the question: why are taxpayers footing the bill for a potentially flawed psychological test? The…

New CIS research: CSR warriors aim to push companies into open political activism
Jeremy Sammut
21 August 2018 | MEDIA RELEASE

The ASX’s Corporate Governance Council may have backtracked on the use of the ‘social license’ term, but it is naïve to think the proponents of corporate social responsibility (CSR) will…

Should think tanks be forced to disclose their funders?
Simon Cowan
04 August 2018 | The Sydney Morning Herald

Should think tanks be forced to disclose their funders in order to participate in public debate? Some believe so: ABC TV’s The Drum host Julia Baird wrote last weekend “it would be…

New CIS research: the case to better secure religious freedom
Robert Forsyth
26 July 2018 | MEDIA RELEASE

There is a case for the better securing of existing freedom of religion, but how it is dealt with in the coming months will be a test of Australia’s maturity,…

End of the West was long foretold
Tom Switzer
12 July 2018 | AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW

The big question that hangs over Donald Trump’s trip through Europe is not whether America’s NATO allies should spend more on defence or whether Vladimir Putin poses an overriding strategic…