Civil Society

With freedom comes responsibility. A society of free individuals can only function if everyone respects the rights and liberties of everybody else. This means we have to voluntarily limit our own desires and monitor our own behaviour in the hope and expectation that other people will do the same in their relations with us.

But there is evidence that these informal norms governing our behaviour have been fraying over recent decades. The CIS asks what are the causes and consequences of the decline of civility and social cohesion, and what can be done about it?

The research also examines how government is weakening civil society by trying to eradicate risk from our lives and by ‘crowding out’ voluntary activity with state initiatives?

Publications

Without Fear or Favour: Practising your Faith and your Profession
Debra Mullins
20 June 2018 | OP165

The adequacy of religious freedom protections in Australia has been now reviewed by the Ruddock Inquiry established by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after the same-sex postal survey in later 2017. By late June June 2018, however, the government had yet to release Ruddock’s findings. Nonetheless,…

A Shy Hope in the Mind: Secularisation and the Diversity of Australia’s Religious Economy
Peter Kurti
12 June 2018 | AP1

There are few facets of human society — whether political, social, or economic — that are untouched by the influence of religion. Yet those who oppose any appearance of religion in the Australian public square argue that it simply has no part to play in…

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…

The History Wars Matter
Jeremy Sammut
08 November 2017 | OP159

Despite what the post-modern theorists claim, the nation remains the ultimate political reality. The power of the national story to inspire our collective beliefs about ourselves as Australians, and for those beliefs to inspire the direction of our national life, is the reason the history…

The Tyranny of Tolerance. Threats to Religious Liberty in Australia
Peter Kurti
18 June 2017 | Connorcourt Publishing

It was a confident expectation for more than a century that religion — its beliefs, doctrines and institutions — would atrophy in the face of growing secularisation. But not only has traditional Christianity survived in liberal western societies; other faiths, most conspicuously Islam, have increasingly…

Media & Commentary

Education system produces anti-capitalist millennials
Tom Switzer, Charles Jacobs
21 June 2018 | The Australian

Anyone over the age of 45 will have clear memories of the ecstatic reaction to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. The wall had been erected in…

New CIS Research: Ill-informed Millennials prefer socialism to capitalism
Tom Switzer, Charles Jacobs
20 June 2018 | MEDIA RELEASE

A majority of Australian Millennials have a favourable view of socialism as an ideology, a CIS/YouGov Galaxy poll has found. The number of Millennials who responded they viewed Socialism favourably…

Time offers no escape from justice over sex abuse
Peter Kurti
25 May 2018 | DAILY TELEGRAPH

Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson’s conviction sends a loud and clear message about accountability. That Wilson is facing jail for covering up historic acts of sexual abuse perpetrated by fellow priest…

Migrants must integrate — that’s a fact
Jeremy Sammut
09 January 2018 | DAILY TELEGRAPH

Melbourne is seemingly only now finding out what Sydney has long known: ‘politically correct’ multiculturalism hinders integration and leads to social problems. Melbourne’s African gang crisis shows how lucky we…

Symbolism isn’t substance: it’s symbolism
Simon Cowan
06 October 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

On Tuesday, former acting Liberal Party director, Andrew Bragg tweeted a photo of ABC headquarters in Ultimo that showed both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags — and observed…