This page contains the writing that spans some of the big ideas of our time.


Hallowed Institutions: Religion and The Roots of Liberty and Prosperity
Peter Kurti
12 February 2016 | OP144

God appears to be resurgent in 21st century societies around the world. As our awareness of the claims made by religion becomes more acute, it is ever more important to understand those claims as well as the challenges and contributions religious belief has made, and…

Should a Baker be Forced to Bake Cakes for Same Sex Weddings: Democracy and the Rights and Limits of Religion and Conscience in Contemporary Australia
Anthony Fisher
06 November 2015 | OP143

How important are religious liberty and freedom of conscience is in modern statecraft and nation-building? Do they foster social cohesion and mutual respect, or are they sources of division and vilification in diverse societies? Long seen as bedrock foundations of the democratic-liberal state and the common…

National Security and Counter-Terrorism
George Brandis
06 November 2015

On Friday 6 Nov. Senator the Hon. George Brandis QC, the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate joined CIS members and friends for lunch where he spoke about national security.

Neoliberalism:The Genesis of a Political Swearword
Oliver Marc Hartwich
19 May 2009 | OP114

Neoliberalism is one of the most commonly used words in political debates. Despite this, the origins of neoliberalism are hardly known. Nor does there appear to be a generally accepted definition of the term. Some commentators have linked it to ‘extreme capitalism’; others have called…

Fairness in a Liberal Society
Richard Epstein
28 November 2005 | OP99

Richard Epstein unravels different conceptions of fairness, a term which is elusive and indefinable, yet an indispensible part of our language.  Fairness is linked directly to rights, how that are aquired and then, eventually distributed.

Media & Commentary

Humbugging our way to damnation
Theodore Dalrymple
22 April 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

Prominent billboard advertisements for a large and important Australasian bank perfectly illustrate and exemplify the besetting sin of contemporary intellectual and political life: humbug. The advertisements suggest that the bank…

Trawling the trolls
Theodore Dalrymple
08 April 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

I am no respecter of persons, particularly politicians, but even politicians are human — more or less — and are therefore deserving of some kind of elementary courtesy. When, shortly…

Three ways politics will change, whether Trump wins or not
Helen Andrews
18 March 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

With Marco Rubio out of the race, the anti-Trump forces within the Republican Party are now more united than ever. Whether or not they prove able to stop Trump before…

Vale John Hirst
Jeremy Sammut
12 February 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

John Hirst, my mentor and friend for 20 years, died last week. The date of his death has been misreported: 3 February, 2016 as in the notice here. The record…

The Nannies: 2015 nanny state awards
18 December 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

The Centre for Independent Studies announces its second year of nanny state awards, The Nannies. Highlighting the year’s worst examples of imposing regulations or promoting campaigns designed to prevent people…