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

Thought crimes
Robert Forsyth
23 June 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Two recent overseas events must raise the alarm here in Australia as well. Tim Fallon quit as leader of the UK’s Liberal Democrats, citing the incompatibility of the position with…

Scotland secession dreams smashed
Charles Jacobs
16 June 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Nicola Sturgeon’s mandate for a second Scottish independence referendum has been shattered following the political earthquake of last week’s UK election. The Scottish National Party lost a third of their…

UK election: conventional political wisdom gets it wrong again
Simon Cowan
10 June 2017 | Canberra Times

The remarkable UK election results demonstrate yet again that it’s time to abandon unwavering belief in accepted political wisdom. One after another the shibboleths are falling. Labour’s stunning result suggests…

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,…