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

In defence of millennials
Trisha Jha
28 October 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

I’m under no illusions about the CIS demographic, so I know this is a provocative topic for this newsletter. After all, aren’t millennials busy complaining about house prices in one…

Expanding our tribe
Simon Cowan
28 October 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

Not long after the release of an explosive recording of Donald Trump making crude comments about women, a polling website published a blog post detailing how the US electoral map…

Shunning reform the real 'fool's errand'
Peter Kurti
16 September 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

Restrictions on free speech imposed by section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 look set to remain in place as the government turns its back on reform. But this…

Identity politics and populism
Jeremy Sammut
09 September 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

  An online newspaper marked the first sitting of the federal parliament by encouraging readers to enter some basic personal information into a search engine. The results told you how…

Did Senate voting reform fail?
Simon Cowan
12 August 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

The Senate voting reform package earlier this year that abolished group voting tickets was designed to ensure that the election of senators more closely reflected what ‘each and every voter…