General

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

Publications

Liberty and Surveillance: What should governments and private corporations know about you?
Tom Simpson
30 January 2018 | OP162

Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA hacked the internet as a key part of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence program. Since these revelations in 2013, legislation has largely served to give a secure legal backing to what was previously an undisclosed, covert and sometimes informal…

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…

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.

Media & Commentary

Doing the right thing
Barry Maley
10 April 2018 | The Spectator: Flat White

As calm settles over the cricket ball-tampering crisis and the extraordinary public reaction to it, and as the game’s authorities look to the future, we might ask what has been…

Changing date of Australia Day would distort our present
Jeremy Sammut
20 January 2018 | THE AUSTRALIAN

It is easy to criticise Richard Di Natale’s pledge to step up the Australian Greens’ campaign to move Australia Day from January 26 as a typical virtue-signalling gesture. But before…

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 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…