Classical Liberalism


Classical liberalism is a political philosophy that supports individual freedom, tolerance, markets, the rule of law, and an autonomous civil society. The CIS's work in this area considers how this philosophy can offer alternate ways of looking at policy areas.


  1. What are we fighting for? Islamism and the threat to liberal values

    David Kilcullen | 12 Nov 2014 | Speeches

    Dr David Kilcullen's address for the 2014 John Bonython Lecture

  2. The Age of Endarkenment

    Brendan O'Neill, Nick Cater | 23 Oct 2014 | Occasional Papers

    Humans are wealthier, happier and more comfortable than any previous generation thanks to science and technology. So why... Read More...

  3. The Enlightenment Made Us

    Nick Cater | 23 Oct 2014 | Occasional Papers

    Nick Cater examines the Enlightenment ideals that helped shape our uniquely Australian culture, and asks whether the pragmatism... Read More...

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

    Jeremy Sammut, Peter Kurti, Robert Forsyth | 16 Oct 2014 | Occasional Papers

    An aggressive secular culture, combined with the diminished standing of religious organisations in Australia, is putting... Read More...

  5. Submission to the National Commission of Audit

    Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham, Jeremy Sammut, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Stephen Kirchner, Trisha Jha | 01 Apr 2014 | TARGET30 Papers

    The federal government’s Commission of Audit (CoA) was established in 2013 to review the performance and role of government.... Read More...

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Opinion & Commentary

  1. Personal freedom leads to economic freedom

    Greg Lindsay | 27 Oct 2014 | Australian Financial Review

    It is clear now that economic liberty has supported a massive global reduction of poverty, disease and other key factors. ... Read More

  2. A signpost away from state power

    Greg Lindsay | 07 May 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    The Road to Serfdom did not turn out to be the expressway Hayek imagined when he published it 70 years ago.... Read More

  3. Feminism is not the exclusive preserve of the left

    Trisha Jha | 14 Apr 2014 | The Guardian

    Sexist stereotypes can only effectively be dealt with through free speech, free thought and exchange, and civil activism.... Read More

  4. Australia, a realisation of freedom

    Greg Lindsay | 06 Feb 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    The intellectual drift towards modern statism and the allure of big government and centrally-planned, highly-regulated societies ... Read More

  5. Masses rapt in hippy values

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 22 Dec 2012 | The Canberra Times

    Christmas in Australia is drifting from tradition.... Read More

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  1. Britain's Pauline Hanson moment

    Peter Saunders | 17 Oct 2014

    Support for classical liberal ideas remains depressingly small in Britain. It is not Hayek the country is starting to embrace ...

  2. False conflation of classical liberalism

    Cassandra Wilkinson | 26 Sep 2014

    Conflating conservatism, statism or — worse — blatant electoral politics with a principled philosophy of liberty ...

  3. Liberty or licence

    Peter Saunders | 18 Jul 2014

    John Stuart Mill thought that free individuals would chose to use their liberties to pursue higher pleasures rather than ...

  4. Freedom to believe must mean freedom to practice

    Peter Kurti | 04 Jul 2014

    The right to religious liberty is not an absolute right and must always be balanced against other rights and freedoms enjoyed ...

  5. Thank you from the Executive Director

    Greg Lindsay | 27 Jun 2014

    As the financial year draws to a close, it's a great time to recognise the people whose support keeps CIS going. Thank you ...

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