Classical Liberalism

Classical liberalism is a political philosophy that supports individual freedom, tolerance, markets, the rule of law, and an autonomous civil society. The CIS’s work in this area considers how this philosophy can offer alternate ways of looking at policy areas.


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 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…

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…

Investor-State Arbitration and the Rule of Law: Debunking the Myths
Patrick Carvalho
13 April 2016 | Research Report 13

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is a legal provision in international agreements that enables foreign investors to take host states to an arbitral tribunal for alleged treaty breaches. The goal of investor-state arbitration is to provide a de-politicised, unbiased and law-based adjudication forum to guarantee the…

Media & Commentary

Surrendering to PC no longer a political victory
Jeremy Sammut
10 February 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

The irony of Cory Bernardi’s defection from the Liberal Party should be acknowledged. The political shocks of 2016 have rocked the political establishment in Western democracies. Trump, Brexit, and the…

Trust is shattered
27 January 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Without trust, no society can function. But in this day and age, our trust in our leaders seems to be well and truly shattered. Admittedly, with today’s media, it is…

Davos to Caracas
Rebecca Weisser
20 January 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

From the icy peaks of Davos, the World Economic Forum this week announced that ‘reforming the very nature of capitalism will be needed to combat the growing appeal of populist…

Explaining Trump: It’s the culture, stupid!
Jeremy Sammut
13 January 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Donald J. Trump’s January 20 inauguration as President of the United States will spark another round of punditry discussing the so-called ‘populist’ turn in Western democracies. Many commentators rightly attribute…

We're not racist
Peter Kurti
09 December 2016 | Daily Telegraph

Aussies preparing for the festive season had an unwelcome early Christmas present from the United Nations dropped in their laps earlier this week. According to UN special rapporteur on racism,…