Social Policy – The Centre for Independent Studies

Social Policy

The Centre for Independent Studies remains at the forefront of social policy debate in Australia, with a focus on key issues such as welfare, health care, education and child protection. Ending the growth of the welfare state is a priority for the CIS social research team, as government spending on welfare continues to increase, seemingly unabated.

Since the 1980s, the CIS has been researching social policy issues, with the aim of promoting policies that emphasise personal responsibility and individual choice.

The CIS seeks a future for Australia that has individual freedom under a limited government. We believe that such a future would strengthen community life, leading to a more cohesive and flourishing civil society.

Follow the links for further information on our major social policy areas:

Featured Publication


The Threat of Identity Politics
Simon Heffer
01 September 2021 | OP184

Global outrage over the killing of George Floyd by a white policeman in America last year has been harnessed by activist groups such as Black Lives Matter to support demands for social and political upheaval that go way beyond making racial equality a reality. This…

Attitudes to a post-Covid Australia
Robert Carling, Simon Cowan
26 August 2021 | AP25

There are both reasons for optimism and reasons for pessimism in this paper. The poll suggests that Australians are unlikely to meekly accept ongoing lockdowns once vaccination reaches critical levels. Only a small minority believe we should continue to chase Covid Zero exclusively. Moreover, few…

Mind the Gap: Understanding the Indigenous education gap and how to close it
Glenn Fahey
24 June 2021 | RR41

Indigenous educational disadvantage remains among the most pressing and persistent public policy challenges in Australia. Despite bipartisan and intergovernmental commitment to ‘Closing the Gap’, has done little to move the needle in education outcomes. Dispiritingly poor education outcomes persist despite the best of intentions, considerable…

Cancelling the Culture: Critical Theory and the Chasm of Incoherence
Peter Kurti
03 June 2021 | AP22

Critical Theory exerts a significant intellectual hold on the formation of policy and the conduct of discourse in the Australian public sphere. In its essential form, Critical Theory holds that there are many biases and imbalances of power in society which are hidden from view…

Back to Basics: A new model for business creation in remote Indigenous communities
Nyunggai Warren Mundine, Elizabeth Henderson
20 May 2021 | AP21

The past decade has seen significant growth in the Indigenous business sector fuelled by landmark Commonwealth policies such as the Indigenous Business Sector Strategy. However, these policies have not succeeded in remote Australia where Indigenous economic participation through business creation is most needed. This paper…

Media & Commentary

From Fear to Freedom? Liberty in the Age of COVID-19
Peter Kurti
13 October 2021 | Epoch Times

As the first tranche of COVID-19 restrictions lifted earlier this week, the people of New South Wales (NSW) enjoyed their first taste of freedom after four months of strict lockdown and enforced…

Morrison should call Queensland’s hospital bluff to blast open borders
Robert Carling
12 October 2021 | Australian Financial Review

Most Commonwealth-state interactions in our federation ultimately come down to an argument about money. In the latest twist to the national cabinet’s COVID-19 response, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has managed…

A royal commission into coronavirus? Be careful what you wish for
Scott Prasser
30 September 2021 | Spectator

Some former politicians and commentators are suggesting there be an ‘independent’ review in the form of a royal commission to assess Australia’s handling of the pandemic.   There is certainly plenty…

Closed Borders Are Paralysing the Country
Robert Carling
03 September 2021 | Epoch Times

There are signs in public attitudes and statements by at least some of Australia’s political and business leaders that the national mood is becoming less accepting of restrictions to eliminate…

The impossible goal of “Covid Zero”
Peter Kurti
25 August 2021 | First Things

In 1901, Australia’s six colonies united in a single Commonwealth, marking the emergence of a new country with a distinct identity. For nearly 120 years, the bond among what are…