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

The History Wars Matter
Jeremy Sammut
08 November 2017 | OP159

Despite what the post-modern theorists claim, the nation remains the ultimate political reality. The power of the national story to inspire our collective beliefs about ourselves as Australians, and for those beliefs to inspire the direction of our national life, is the reason the history…

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…

Welfare reform beyond decades of dependence, ‘dole bludgers’ and ‘double dipping’
Simon Cowan
31 May 2017 | OP156

Recent attempts to reform welfare have focused on the wrong elements of the system. In some cases, advocating tightening eligibility for unemployment benefits and single mother payments while simultaneously increasing the scope and cost of family benefits and pension payments. Blaming ‘dole bludgers’ will never…

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…

Media & Commentary

Robot truck drivers shape up as a heavy load
Tom Switzer
01 January 2018 | SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

The robots are coming to the rescue. So screamed a headline about artificial intelligence. The article appeared recently in The Times of London and it reported that, just as automation and outsourcing will boost…

The 2017 CIS Nanny State Awards
Steven Schwartz
13 December 2017 | THE SPECTATOR: FLAT WHITE

The Nannies, as we call the annual CIS awards, go to the government’s most absurd attempts to mind the private business of its citizens. Given that the entire government is…

SSM and anti-discrimination reform
Simon Cowan
17 November 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

I, along with 7,817,246 of my fellow Australians, voted in favour of the legalisation of same sex marriage (SSM) in the government’s recent survey. I also announced my support of…

Why the history wars matter
Jeremy Sammut
16 November 2017 | THE SPECTATOR

In a widely-publicised incident, two attention-seekers from the far-right Patriot Blue group harassed Senator Sam Dastyari in a Melbourne pub and then posted the film of the bullying on Facebook.…

Mundine’s stairway to prosperity
Charles Jacobs
10 November 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

This week saw the usual stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage — ongoing issues with Indigenous incarceration and significant gaps in educational outcomes. However, a tonic to this…