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

Reason, Repentance, and the Individual: Recovering the Religious Roots of Western Civilisation
Peter Kurti
23 November 2017 | OP160

Reason, repentance, and the individual are three of the principal roots of Western civilization. They are, moreover, roots that are set firmly in the rich soil of our Judeo-Christian heritage. But the danger is that as our commitment to that heritage weakens, so, too, does…

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…

Media & Commentary

Mundine’s stairway to prosperity
Charles Jacobs
10 November 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

This week saw the usual stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage — ongoing issues with Indigenous incarceration and significant gaps in educational outcomes. However, a tonic to this…

History Wars matter because identity politics will foster racism and kill the ‘fair go’
Jeremy Sammut
08 November 2017 | MEDIA RELEASE

The politicised kind of history of taught in Australian universities and schools misleads students about the potentially divisive issues of racism in Australia, Centre for Independent Studies researcher Dr Jeremy…

The paradoxes of identity politics
Jeremy Sammut
27 September 2017 | The Australian

It’s a sign of our virtue-signalling times that an employer would boast on Facebook about their decision to sack a teenage Christian employee for endorsing the marriage survey’s ‘No’ side.…

The ill-liberal equality campaign
Jeremy Sammut
06 September 2017 | Australian Financial Review

Bill Shorten says it is a “distraction” for defenders of traditional marriage to claim that same-sex marriage will threaten religious freedom in Australia. According to the nominal leader of the…

Leadership means real promises on real policy
Simon Cowan
11 August 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Bill Shorten probably can’t believe his luck. The Liberal Party has spent the entire winter break focusing almost exclusively on issues that are terribly divisive for their party and base.…