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.

Publications

Rights, Morals, Dignity: Why defending religious freedom matters
Peter Kurti
10 April 2020 | OP173

Calls for protections of rights are often made without much reflection on what it is, exactly, that needs protecting. In this Occasional Paper, Peter Kurti argues that behind any claim about rights lies a moral claim, and that this claim is essentially about human dignity.…

Australia's Export Exposure to China's Coronavirus Epidemic
Salvatore Babones
18 February 2020 | AP7

This paper estimates the direct and immediate effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the revenues of Australia’s major export industries. It breaks down Australia’s exports to China across 18 major industry groups, including both goods and services exports. China’s coronavirus epidemic is likely to cost…

CRACKING UP? Culture and the Displacement of Virtue
Peter Kurti
09 July 2019 | AP4

Unease has been growing that something has changed for the worse in our culture. The change is perceptible but often defies precise description; yet it provokes this unease because of a concern that the foundations of our common social life have become unstable. This sense…

Millennials and Super: the case for voluntary superannuation
Simon Cowan
28 May 2019 | PP20

Superannuation is not a good deal for everyone. As a result of house prices increases, it has become much harder to save for a deposit and, as a result, homeownership percentages among younger workers have fallen. Superannuation, particularly future increases in the guarantee rate, is…

Taking Back Control: Restoring Universalism in the Age of Identity Politics
Amanda Stoker
16 April 2019 | OP170

It can feel safer avoiding conversations on social issues that can be landmines at the best of times. But the longer those who believe in freedom and responsibility sit on the sidelines, the longer we give free rein for others to shape the debate. Where…

Media & Commentary

Vale Owen Harries (1930-2020)
Tom Switzer
03 July 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

Henry Kissinger, Owen Harries, Samuel Huntington, March 1998 Owen Harries — Australian conservative academic, senior Fraser government adviser and diplomat, founding editor of the Washington-based National Interest, contributor to the leading…

Vale Deepak Lal (1940-2020)
Greg Lindsay
15 May 2020 | Ideas@TheCentre

With someone you know well but don’t see too often, the shock of their passing is not diminished by the distance of time and place. I had known Deepak Lal…

A memo to the Morrison Government: we need more democracy, not less
Jeremy Sammut
05 June 2019 | SPECTATOR: FLAT WHITE

Public policy is a field where you soon learn that no matter the soundness of your evidence, the perceptiveness of your analysis, and the insightfulness of your ideas concerning furthering…

Best of the West for students
Salvatore Babones
05 June 2019 | THE AUSTRALIAN

The most divisive issue in higher education bears an eminently respectable name: Ramsay. When healthcare magnate and medical philanthropist Paul Ramsay died in 2014 he left the bulk of his…

Why Socialism always fails
Steven Kates
15 March 2019 | Spectator

A recent Wall Street Journal editorial Who’s Afraid of Socialism laid out the case that much of the US Democratic platform met the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of socialism. In particular,…