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

Reality check on Scottish independence
Simon Cowan
24 March 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

The Scottish Nationalist Party, holder of 54 of 59 Scottish seats in the UK House of Commons and 63 seats in the Scottish Parliament, is aggrieved at the Brexit result.…

Tallyrand call the office
Jeremy Sammut
24 March 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

The election of President Trump, the Leave victory at the UK Brexit referendum, the revival of One Nation here in Australia … the political earthquakes of 2016 have exposed the…

Turnbull turning Trumpist?
24 March 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Those worried that Trumpism could take root in Australia now have another reason for concern: last Saturday, Malcolm Turnbull took to Twitter to protest mainstream media coverage of his government…

Fragile on the fringe: One Nation unlikely to become a genuine right-wing alternative
Simon Cowan
18 March 2017 | Canberra Times

As the Western Australian senate count limps along, One Nation have passed the Greens in terms of percentage vote. Predictions are they will now get two upper house seats and…

Free thought dies in intolerant university ghettos
Kay S. Hymowitz
18 March 2017 | the australian

Warning to Aussies from a visiting American: pay careful attention to the latest mob action to darken one of America’s elite — and ironically one of its loveliest — campuses,…