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

Terror in the Name of God: Confronting acts of religious violence in a liberal society
Peter Kurti
10 June 2017 | OP154

Acts of violence perpetrated in the name of religion have been reported with great prominence in recent times. Scholars of religion continue to weigh whether people who kill or injure others are really doing so in the name of their God, as they claim; or…

Rediscovering Humility: Religious Freedom in a 21st Century Pluralist Society
Tim Wilson
05 December 2016 | OP151

Religious liberty is central to the Australian way of life. It is enshrined in the Australian Constitution. But it is not the only freedom that matters. There is a rising tension between accommodating differing freedoms in 21st century Australia. The changing face of Australia continues…

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 Limits of Australian Anti-discrimination Law
Helen Andrews
03 August 2016 | Research Report 17

Anti-discrimination law has existed in Australia for only fifty years, and yet in that comparatively short period it has become entrenched and almost unquestionable. An examination of its record, however, shows that it has not been an effective tool to achieve the goals for which…

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…

Media & Commentary

A Test of Australian Maturity
Robert Forsyth
08 September 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

It’s time not just to focus on who will win the marriage debate, but how we are going to live with the peace. The legislation of same-sex marriage in Australia…

The ill-liberal equality campaign
Jeremy Sammut
06 September 2017 | Australian Financial Review

Bill Shorten says it is a “distraction” for defenders of traditional marriage to claim that same-sex marriage will threaten religious freedom in Australia. According to the nominal leader of the…

The marriage equality movement and the new intolerance
Tom Switzer
03 September 2017 | Sydney Morning Herald

Many important issues now can’t be debated openly without inspiring immediate hysteria. Same-sex marriage is one of them. Anyone who tries to defend traditional marriage – or even highlights the…

The need for political civility
Nicole Billante, Peter Saunders
18 August 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

The word ‘civility’ shares an etymological root with the idea of ‘citizenship’ on the one hand, and of ‘civilisation’ on the other. This alerts us to two distinct but related…

Leadership means real promises on real policy
Simon Cowan
11 August 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Bill Shorten probably can’t believe his luck. The Liberal Party has spent the entire winter break focusing almost exclusively on issues that are terribly divisive for their party and base.…