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


The Psychology of Populism: Tribal Challenges to Liberal Democracy
Joseph P. Forgas
19 August 2021 | OP183

The resurgence of both left-wing and right-wing populism presents a serious challenge for liberal democracies. Whereas liberal democracy is based on the Enlightenment principles of individualism, tolerance and freedom, populism is a fundamentally collectivist, anti-individualist and anti-Enlightenment tribal ideology. This paper goes beyond economic and…

Cancelling the Culture: Critical Theory and the Chasm of Incoherence
Peter Kurti
03 June 2021 | AP22

Critical Theory exerts a significant intellectual hold on the formation of policy and the conduct of discourse in the Australian public sphere. In its essential form, Critical Theory holds that there are many biases and imbalances of power in society which are hidden from view…

Australians’ Attitudes to Social Media: Connection or Curse?
Monica Wilkie
29 March 2021 | PP37

Social media appears in the news cycle, almost daily, and the majority of the coverage is negative. Politicians from all sides, and bureaucratic agencies have been warning about the apparent danger social media pose to journalism, democracy, business, and civil society. But Australians are far…

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…

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…