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Occasional Papers


Occasional Papers (OP) are short publications usually based on a lecture or presentation given at the CIS. Our annual John Bonython and Acton Lectures are part of the OP series.

  • The Case for a New Australian Settlement: Ruminations of an Inveterate Economist

    Wolfgang Kasper | 25 Jun 2015 | OP141

    To enjoy prosperity into the future, Australia needs to establish an reform strategy that goes beyond economic policy and is underpinned by agreed basic understandings across political and social divides...... Read More

  • Magna Carta: Talisman of Liberty

    Barry Maley | 15 Jun 2015 | OP142

    The Magna Carta is the foundation of justice, liberty and prosperity, and a singular event in the development of parliamentary democracy and rule of law. Eight hundred years after its creation, the Magna...... Read More

  • What are We Fighting For? Islamism and the Threat to Liberal Ideas

    David Kilcullen | 10 Feb 2015 | OP140

    This volume brings together two presentations and the introductions from an event hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies and exploring the frames of reference from which to view the colonisation...... Read More

  • Fatal Shore or Land of Opportunity?

    Andrew Tink, David Hunt and Michael Pembroke | 21 Jan 2015 | OP139

    This volume brings together two presentations and the introductions from an event hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies and exploring the frames of reference from which to view the colonisation...... Read More

  • Public Money: Federal-State Financial Relations and the Constitutional Limits on Spending Public Money

    Anne Twomey and Robert Carling | 29 Oct 2014 | OP138

    This paper surveys and explains the history of how the Australian Constitution was intended to deal with federal-state financial relations and what has happened in practice. It also discusses the constitutional...... Read More

  • The Enlightenment Made Us

    Nick Cater | 23 Oct 2014 | OP136

    Nick Cater examines the Enlightenment ideals that helped shape our uniquely Australian culture, and asks whether the pragmatism that characterised the early colonists still exists today, or if it is in...... Read More

  • The Age of Endarkenment

    Brendan O'Neill and Nick Cater | 23 Oct 2014 | OP137

    Humans are wealthier, happier and more comfortable than any previous generation thanks to science and technology. So why have we become so gloomy about the modern world and so pessimistic about the future?...... Read More

  • A Quartet of Freedoms: Freedom of Religion, Speech, Association and Conscience

    Jeremy Sammut, Peter Kurti and Robert Forsyth | 16 Oct 2014 | OP135

    An aggressive secular culture, combined with the diminished standing of religious organisations in Australia, is putting religious believers under pressure to be silent in the public square. Robert Forsyth...... Read More

  • Catholic Resistance to German State Persecution: Lessons for Modern Australia

    Dyson Heydon, Peter Kurti and Robert Forsyth | 30 May 2014 | OP134

    Anti-Catholic sectarianism is on the rise in Australian society even though Australian Catholicism has made an extraordinary contribution to education, charitable relief, the running of hospitals, and...... Read More

  • The Right to the Good Life: Improving Educational Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children

    Marcia Langton | 01 Oct 2013 | OP133

    Indigenous students should be treated not as incommensurately different but like all other students who are required to become competent in the national curriculum, argues Professor Marcia Langton AM....... Read More

  • After the Welfare State: Politicians Stole Your Future … You Can Get It Back

    Tom Palmer | 08 Apr 2013 | OP132

    History, economics, sociology, political science, and mathematics are the tools to understand and evaluate welfare states, rather than emotional responses or conspiracy theories. This little book, edited...... Read More

  • Re-moralising the Welfare State

    Peter Saunders | 13 Mar 2013 | OP131

    The welfare state should be fair as well as caring. Fairness requires that claimants are not treated more favourably than people who work; that more deserving cases are treated differently from less deserving...... Read More

  • What Kind of Religion Is Free in the Public Square? A Warning from the United States

    Ryan Messmore | 06 Mar 2013 | OP129

    In the 14th Acton Lecture, Dr Ryan Messmore, President of Campion College, asks what kind of religion is free in the public square and whether we have a strong, public expression of religious belief or...... Read More

  • Capitalism and Virtue: Reaffirming Old Truths

    Charles Murray | 07 Feb 2013 | OP130

    In the 2012 Annual John Bonython Lecture, eminent political scientist Charles Murray describes the larger historical forces that have been at work in the United States (and, to a lesser extent, Australia)...... Read More

  • Moral Wisdom and the Recovery of Virtue

    Peter Kurti | 06 Feb 2013 | OP128

    What are the moral skills we need to cultivate to live effectively in the social media world of the twenty-first century public square? In an address given at Consilium in 2012, Peter Kurti proposes the...... Read More

  • Sustainability of Indigenous Communities

    Ron Staples, Sara Hudson and Wesley Aird | 20 Dec 2012 | OP127

    Social indicators of Indigenous disadvantage prove that the orthodox methods of delivering services to Indigenous people have not worked. The failure of these methods is also indicated by the proliferation...... Read More

  • Leadership, Liberty and the Crisis of Authority

    Frank Furedi | 15 Oct 2012 | OP125

    In the 27th John Bonython Lecture, Frank Furedi discussed the distinct lack of leadership needed to deal with the many crises facing the world in the 21st century and replace the society’s addiction...... Read More

  • The Condensed Wealth of Nations and The Incredibly Condensed Theory of Moral Sentiments

    Eamonn Butler | 12 Jun 2012 | OP126

    In The Condensed Wealth of Nations, Eamonn Butler condenses Adam Smith’s work and explains the key concepts in The Wealth of Nations clearly. It is accessible and readable to any intelligent layman. This...... Read More

  • You Can’t Say That! Freedom of Speech and the Invisible Muzzle

    Brendan O'Neill, James Allan, Janet Albrechtsen and Thilo Sarrazin | 06 Feb 2012 | OP124

    This collection of four speeches warns against the increasing restrictions on free speech in a world being taken over by political correctness. Ostensibly a tool for civility and respect, political correctness...... Read More

  • The Kingdom of God is Forcefully Advancing and Forceful Men Lay Hold of It

    David Coltart | 14 Sep 2011 | OP123

    In the CIS’s annual Acton Lecture on Religion and Freedom, Senator David Coltart discusses the application of biblical standards to foreign policy in terms of moral values: forsaking violence as means...... Read More