General

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

Publications

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

The need for political civility
Nicole Billante, Peter Saunders
18 August 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

The word ‘civility’ shares an etymological root with the idea of ‘citizenship’ on the one hand, and of ‘civilisation’ on the other. This alerts us to two distinct but related…

UK election: conventional political wisdom gets it wrong again
Simon Cowan
10 June 2017 | Canberra Times

The remarkable UK election results demonstrate yet again that it’s time to abandon unwavering belief in accepted political wisdom. One after another the shibboleths are falling. Labour’s stunning result suggests…

North by north-south
Jennifer Buckingham
19 May 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

When the regional meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) was scheduled to be held in Seoul, few people would have predicted that it would take place at a time…

Even in the age of reality TV, the personal isn't political
Simon Cowan
04 March 2017 | Canberra Times

When Trent Hunter (pictured right) walked to the podium to talk about penalty rates at a Labor press conference last week, his role was clear. He was there to put…

18C shouts obscenities at our freedom
Peter Kurti
03 March 2017 | Daily Telegraph

Months spent on a parliamentary inquiry set up by the Turnbull government to look at what needs to be done with Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 have…