Classical Liberalism – The Centre for Independent Studies

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.


Attitudes to a post-Covid Australia
Robert Carling, Simon Cowan
26 August 2021 | AP25

There are both reasons for optimism and reasons for pessimism in this paper. The poll suggests that Australians are unlikely to meekly accept ongoing lockdowns once vaccination reaches critical levels. Only a small minority believe we should continue to chase Covid Zero exclusively. Moreover, few…

The Psychology of Populism: Tribal Challenges to Liberal Democracy
Joseph P. Forgas
19 August 2021 | OP183

The resurgence of both left-wing and right-wing populism presents a serious challenge for liberal democracies. Whereas liberal democracy is based on the Enlightenment principles of individualism, tolerance and freedom, populism is a fundamentally collectivist, anti-individualist and anti-Enlightenment tribal ideology. This paper goes beyond economic and…

Cancelling the Culture: Critical Theory and the Chasm of Incoherence
Peter Kurti
03 June 2021 | AP22

Critical Theory exerts a significant intellectual hold on the formation of policy and the conduct of discourse in the Australian public sphere. In its essential form, Critical Theory holds that there are many biases and imbalances of power in society which are hidden from view…

Australians’ Attitudes to Social Media: Connection or Curse?
Monica Wilkie
29 March 2021 | PP37

Social media appears in the news cycle, almost daily, and the majority of the coverage is negative. Politicians from all sides, and bureaucratic agencies have been warning about the apparent danger social media pose to journalism, democracy, business, and civil society. But Australians are far…

Victims of failure – how the COVID-19 policy response let down Australians
Monica Wilkie
09 December 2020 | AP18

The government response to COVID-19 has imposed restrictions on Australians unseen in peacetime. As Australians approach nearly a year of living under varying coronavirus restrictions it is timely to analyse governments response to COVID-19. Victims of failure – how the COVID-19 policy response let down…

Media & Commentary

Four serious errors on the way to COVID-19 ‘victory’
Monica Wilkie
11 December 2020 | THE AUSTRALIAN

Australia has ‘passed the COVID-19 test,’ according to Scott Morrison. And now with Victoria and Queensland celebrating weeks without a local case, Australians are jubilant — especially compared with countries…

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

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…