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


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…

Creativity in an Age of Constraint
Lionel Shriver
02 October 2019 | OP172

2019 John Bonython Lecture – Creativity in the Age of Constraint The proliferating dos and don’ts of political correctness, the predations of ‘gotcha’ identity politics and the hypersensitivities of the #MeToo movement are battering and boxing creativity. There is a danger in faithfully following this…

CRACKING UP? Culture and the Displacement of Virtue
Peter Kurti
09 July 2019 | AP4

Unease has been growing that something has changed for the worse in our culture. The change is perceptible but often defies precise description; yet it provokes this unease because of a concern that the foundations of our common social life have become unstable. This sense…

Millennials and Super: the case for voluntary superannuation
Simon Cowan
28 May 2019 | PP20

Superannuation is not a good deal for everyone. As a result of house prices increases, it has become much harder to save for a deposit and, as a result, homeownership percentages among younger workers have fallen. Superannuation, particularly future increases in the guarantee rate, is…

Taking Back Control: Restoring Universalism in the Age of Identity Politics
Amanda Stoker
16 April 2019 | OP170

It can feel safer avoiding conversations on social issues that can be landmines at the best of times. But the longer those who believe in freedom and responsibility sit on the sidelines, the longer we give free rein for others to shape the debate. Where…

Media & Commentary

Vale Owen Harries (1930-2020)
Tom Switzer
03 July 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

Henry Kissinger, Owen Harries, Samuel Huntington, March 1998 Owen Harries — Australian conservative academic, senior Fraser government adviser and diplomat, founding editor of the Washington-based National Interest, contributor to the leading…

‘Reasonable person’ test of virus response
Salvatore Babones
04 June 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

We can’t blame our leaders for being caught off-guard by the coronavirus; we all were. We can, however, hold our leaders responsible for the decisions they should have made based…

Trump vs Twitter tango dances on
Monica Wilkie
04 June 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

Social media and Donald Trump are fighting — again. Twitter has started fact-checking Trump’s tweets and he is now threatening them with regulation. Last week, Trump signed an executive order…

The new National Cabinet: great for big government, not so good for liberty
Scott Prasser
02 June 2020 | Spectator

Last week Prime Minister announced “a completely new system” of intergovernmental relations institutions, processes and agendas that will replace the current Council of Australian Governments, COAG.  As part of these ‘new’ arrangements,…

Vale Deepak Lal (1940-2020)
Greg Lindsay
15 May 2020 | Ideas@TheCentre

With someone you know well but don’t see too often, the shock of their passing is not diminished by the distance of time and place. I had known Deepak Lal…