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


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.

The Morality of Capitalism
James Q. Wilson
15 October 1997 | OP62

Capitalism is winning the economic battle all over the world. The collapse of socialism has left it without serious challenge as a wealth-creating system. But moral criticism of capitalism continues. Even its defenders often deny that it has any moral foundation, or worry about whether…

Media & Commentary

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…

Muslims must fight evil within, following Paris attacks
Peter Kurti
17 November 2015 | Daily Telegraph

Every Australian will feel the impact of the slaughter on the streets of Paris. We grieve for the people of France. We must also grieve for a way of life…

One-child change irrelevant to population growth
Patrick Carvalho
06 November 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

China’s recent decision to dump its one-child policy will produce little impact on its future population growth. Indeed, the measure is largely irrelevant, as its fertility rate is currently way…

Junket 'unconference'
Trisha Jha
05 November 2015 | THE GUARDIAN

An ‘unconference’ is a way to describe an invite-only audience combined with a delegate-led program. One could be forgiven for thinking it is stereotypically Gen Y. I confess to having…

MEDIA RELEASE: Nanny state inquiry should not become ‘bike helmet’ inquiry
Helen Andrews
26 October 2015

  It is disappointing to see bicycle helmets become the main aspect of the ‘nanny state’ inquiry, when there are other much more crucial issues, says Centre for Independent Studies…