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


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 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…

Society is Broken
Theodore Dalrymple
20 June 2016 | OP146

With experience as a prison doctor and psychiatrist, Theodore Dalrymple decries the impact of the welfare state and a culture of dependence in society. A phrase such as ‘a broken society’ should not be made to bear more meaning than it has. Societies do not…

The Role of Think Tanks: A Reply to the Critics
Jeremy Sammut
13 June 2016 | OP145

Because their aims are educational and democratic, what think tanks do and why they do it is entirely transparent: they ensure their research is publically available and seek to ensure it is disseminated via the media to as broad an audience as possible in the…

Media & Commentary

Venice Diary
Rebecca Weisser
20 May 2017 | The Spectator

The Venice Biennale has been a rite of every second spring since 1895.  The oldest biennial art fair in the world, it’s the one on which all the others are…

Reflections on Seoul
19 May 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

I just returned from a fascinating experience in Seoul — including a Presidential election in Korea that saw a landslide victory for a socialist leaning and ‘pro-North’ candidate Moon Jae-in,…

North by north-south
Jennifer Buckingham
19 May 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

When the regional meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) was scheduled to be held in Seoul, few people would have predicted that it would take place at a time…

Moving against religious extremism
Peter Kurti
19 May 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Islamist attacks on Christian churches in Egypt last month finally prompted authorities to try and clamp down on religious extremism. Dozens of Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 per…

A most dangerous form of Western Liberalism
Robert Forsyth
05 May 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

The outcry against UK Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron’s delay in stating whether or not he personally believes homosexuality to be a sin — despite he and his party supporting…