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


Liberty and Surveillance: What should governments and private corporations know about you?
Tom Simpson
30 January 2018 | OP162

Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA hacked the internet as a key part of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence program. Since these revelations in 2013, legislation has largely served to give a secure legal backing to what was previously an undisclosed, covert and sometimes informal…

Reason, Repentance, and the Individual: Recovering the Religious Roots of Western Civilisation
Peter Kurti
23 November 2017 | OP160

Reason, repentance, and the individual are three of the principal roots of Western civilization. They are, moreover, roots that are set firmly in the rich soil of our Judeo-Christian heritage. But the danger is that as our commitment to that heritage weakens, so, too, does…

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…

Media & Commentary

Qantas flying low
Peter Kurti
09 March 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

The Spirit of Australia has slumped further at what was once our proud national carrier. No longer content with changing the way we fly, the Flying Kangaroo now wants to…

In praise of John Hyde
16 February 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

In economic policy, as in fashion and music, the 1970s were generally a dreary decade: Keynesianism, stagflation, energy crisis. But out of that miserable era rose a generation of free-market…

Modest bid for Muslim trade
Peter Kurti
09 February 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

Officials at DFAT have demonstrated once again that bureaucrats living in the Canberra bubble can sometimes surprise us by being ahead of the views and values of middle Australia. Someone…

In memory of PP McGuinness
Tom Switzer
25 January 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

Australia Day marks ten years since we lost a dear friend and supporter of the Centre for Independent Studies, P.P. (Padraic Pearse) McGuinness. A long-time editor and columnist at Fairfax,…

How about Forgiveness Day?
Jacinta Price
25 January 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

I was always of the understanding that if someone truly respects you they will speak the truth rather than lie or distort the conversation for their own ends. Virtue signalling…