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.


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 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

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…

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,…

North by north-south
Jennifer Buckingham
19 May 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

When the regional meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) was scheduled to be held in Seoul, few people would have predicted that it would take place at a time…

A most dangerous form of Western Liberalism
Robert Forsyth
05 May 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

The outcry against UK Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron’s delay in stating whether or not he personally believes homosexuality to be a sin — despite he and his party supporting…

Symbolic domestic violence 'a blessing'
Peter Kurti
21 April 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

‘Women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia’ provoked controversy recently by giving the go-ahead for Muslim men to strike their wives — but only in a symbolic way, they insisted. It must…