Ideas about Liberty – The Centre for Independent Studies

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


Victims of failure – how the COVID-19 policy response let down Australians
Monica Wilkie
09 December 2020 | AP18

The government response to COVID-19 has imposed restrictions on Australians unseen in peacetime. As Australians approach nearly a year of living under varying coronavirus restrictions it is timely to analyse governments response to COVID-19. Victims of failure – how the COVID-19 policy response let down…

Cancelled! How ideological cleansing threatens Australia
Peter Kurti
17 August 2020 | AP13

‘Cancel culture’ campaigns in Australia are intended to erase elements of our history and to deny the record of those who helped found this country. The impulse to impose a revised interpretation of the past poses a danger that threatens to corrode civility, destroy civic…

Moral Terrorism
Simon Heffer
21 July 2020 | OP174

We find ourselves living in an age when a small but highly vocal, and zealous, minority are availing themselves of the power of social media, and of sections of the printed press, to seek to force their opinions and attitudes on everyone else. In normal…

Rights, Morals, Dignity: Why defending religious freedom matters
Peter Kurti
10 April 2020 | OP173

Calls for protections of rights are often made without much reflection on what it is, exactly, that needs protecting. In this Occasional Paper, Peter Kurti argues that behind any claim about rights lies a moral claim, and that this claim is essentially about human dignity.…

Australia's Export Exposure to China's Coronavirus Epidemic
Salvatore Babones
18 February 2020 | AP7

This paper estimates the direct and immediate effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the revenues of Australia’s major export industries. It breaks down Australia’s exports to China across 18 major industry groups, including both goods and services exports. China’s coronavirus epidemic is likely to cost…

Media & Commentary

The challenge COVID-19 has posed to liberalism
Simon Cowan
13 March 2021 | Canberra Times

This week marked the one-year anniversary of the WHO declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic. The week following that announcement saw the Ruby Princess cruise ship debacle, where thousands of people…

The threats to liberalism will continue to multiply
Simon Cowan
13 February 2021 | Canberra Times

There is an interesting psychological concept variously called creeping normality, in which an objectionable change becomes acceptable because it happens slowly over time. Colloquially, it is often referred to as…

Government response to COVID-19 must be scrutinised
Monica Wilkie
21 December 2020 | CANBERRA TIMES

Although COVID-19 cases clustered in metro areas, the indiscriminate nature of lockdowns means the regions will suffer the economic costs, potentially for longer. Even though Australia is recovering, we must…

Vigilance about liberty still needed
Peter Kurti
18 December 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

Family members stranded overseas are going to miss out; and now it’s suddenly got harder for the rest of us. Until just a few days ago, Christmas this year looked…

Four serious errors on the way to COVID-19 ‘victory’
Monica Wilkie
11 December 2020 | THE AUSTRALIAN

Australia has ‘passed the COVID-19 test,’ according to Scott Morrison. And now with Victoria and Queensland celebrating weeks without a local case, Australians are jubilant — especially compared with countries…