Latest posts

Research reports

Why a Growing Australia is Nothing to Fear

A growing population presents us with challenges and opportunities. Population growth, and the skilled migration that fuels it, helps our economy grow - giving us the resources to support our ageing population, build better infrastructure, and protect our environment. A growing, pluralistic society makes us socially richer too. [...]

Australia’s Angry Mayors

To understand the effects of a growing population on Australia’s councils, CIS surveyed local authorities from all over the country. The results are alarming. The level of frustration with inadequate finance for required infrastructure upgrades is high, and population growth is the reason behind rate hikes. Local government finance reform is overdue. [...]

Europe’s Painful Farewell: An Essay on the Decline of the Old World

Europe is a continent in crisis. The financial problems of many European economies became visible to the rest of world when Greece only narrowly escaped bankruptcy in May 2010. Ever since, more unpleasant data about the state of public finances in Europe have emerged, putting pressure on Europe’s common currency, the euro. With the focus on finances, it is easy to overlook that many of Europe’s current problems are not purely economic. They are the result of some basic construction errors of the European project. [...]

The Multi-layered Hayek

Friedrich August von Hayek was one of the intellectual giants of the 20th century. His contributions ranged from economics to philosophy, from law to psychology. In 1972, he won the Nobel Prize in Economics, and his ideas had great influence on politicians like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. At an event hosted by The Centre for Independent Studies in 2008, four academics delivered an assessment of Hayek’s contributions to different fields of research and analysed their relevance to contemporary debates. This collection of essays demonstrates how much a source of inspiration Hayek’s works still are. [...]

After the Wall – Reflections on the Legacy of 1989

The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 brought the Cold War to an end. It also ended a decades-long division of Europe. At an event hosted by The Centre for Independent Studies, four academics shared their recollections of the historic events and analysed their long term impacts. They show how the change originated in Poland; how fast the revolution spread to East Germany; how Germany mishandled the process of national reunification; and the lessons for the Chinese leadership from the collapse of the communist East German government. [...]

Superseding MMP: Real Electoral reform for New Zealand

After 13 years of Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) representation, Prime Minister John Key has said it is time to ‘kick the tyres’ and see how much support the system enjoys. New Zealand will hold a referendum on the electoral system coinciding with the next election, which may well be a close contest. With this referendum looming, it is both desirable and necessary to revisit New Zealand’s electoral system, its peculiarities, and its history. Beyond that, this is also the time to consider alternatives to MMP. [...]

Behind the Moral Curtain: The Politics of a Charter of Rights

Just as judges are not philosopher-kings, nor are legislative drafters. The terms of a charter are subject to the influence of lobbyists; the judicial interpretation of charters is subject to manipulation by legal experts; and the pervasiveness of a charter is impossible to avoid. [...]